Effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on irradiated oral mucosa: microvessel density

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Mar;44(3):301-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2014.12.012. Epub 2015 Jan 17.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on microvascular tissue and cell proliferation in the oral mucosa. Twenty patients, aged 51-78 years, were allocated randomly to a treatment or a control group. All had a history of radiotherapy (50-70 Gy) to the orofacial region 2-6 years previously. Tissue samples were taken from the irradiated buccal oral mucosa before HBOT and at 6 months after treatment. In the control group, tissue samples were taken on two occasions, 6 months apart. The samples were subjected to immunohistochemistry staining: double staining with CD31 and D2-40 for microvessels, or Ki-67 for the analysis of cell proliferation. Blood vessel density and area were significantly increased after HBOT (P=0.002-0.041). D2-40-positive lymphatic vessels were significantly increased in number and area in the sub-epithelial area (P=0.002 and P=0.019, respectively). No significant differences were observed in the control group. There were no significant differences in Ki-67-expressing epithelial cells between the two groups. It is concluded that the density and area of blood and lymphatic vessels in the irradiated mucosa are increased by HBOT 6 months after therapy. Epithelial cell proliferation is not affected by HBOT.

Keywords: angiogenesis; cell proliferation; immunohistochemistry; microvascular tissue; radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microvessels / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Reproducibility of Results