Background: Because both SCS and HBO therapy have shown some promise in treating patients with states of reduced consciousness, we evaluated the combination of therapies in a prospective trial in comatose patients.
Methods: Twelve patients who had received median nerve stimulation for 3 months without improvement in consciousness received cSCS for 1 year combined with simultaneous HBO therapy for the first 3 months. Another group enrolled 12 patients who received median nerve stimulation only were served as control.
Results: Six patients emerged from coma at 1 year (after conclusion of treatment). Glasgow Coma Scale score, SPECT imaging, and PVS scores (state and reaction subscores) of the 12 patients were all significantly increased at 1 year compared with enrollment (P < .05). Neither respirator nor tracheostomy was needed to assist respiration in any patient. Only 1 of 12 patients still needed nasogastric tube feeding at 1 year. By contrast, control patients (without cSCS and HBO therapy) showed no apparent improvement.
Conclusion: Increase of GCS score, cerebral blood perfusion, and PVS scores were observed in comatose patients treated with combined cSCS and HBO therapy.