Hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an anti-infective agent

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Oct;7(8):1015-26. doi: 10.1586/eri.09.76.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves inhalation of 100% oxygen at supra-atmospheric ambient pressure. HBOT is used as either a primary or adjunctive treatment in the management of infections such as gas gangrene, necrotizing fasciitis, diabetic foot infections, refractory osteomyelitis, neurosurgical infections and fungal infections. HBOT acts as a bactericidal/bacteriostatic agent against anerobic bacteria by increasing the formation of free oxygen radicals. HBOT restores the bacterial-killing capacity of leukocytes in hypoxic wounds by increasing tissue oxygen tensions. In addition, HBOT acts synergistically with a number of antibiotics. This article reviews the anti-infective effects of HBOT and the use of HBOT in the treatment of certain infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Communicable Diseases / therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / complications
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / therapy
  • Gas Gangrene / therapy
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / instrumentation
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / statistics & numerical data
  • Mycoses / therapy
  • Osteomyelitis / therapy
  • Surgical Wound Infection / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents