A prospective randomized controlled trial assessing the efficacy of adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa

Int J Dermatol. 2016 Feb;55(2):232-7. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12936. Epub 2015 Aug 12.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) appears to enhance wound healing, increase bactericidal activity, and act synergistically with a number of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of HBOT as an adjunctive therapy in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) treated with a combination of systemic rifampicin and clindamycin. The study was a prospective, single-center, single-dose, open-label, randomized controlled clinical study of HBOT in patients with moderate to severe HS. Efficacy was measured by modified Sartorius score (SS), HS Severity Index (HSSI), Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and a visual analog scale (VAS) before treatment and after the completion of 4 and 10 weeks of treatment. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were also measured. Forty-three patients were enrolled in the study. More patients in the HBOT than in the control group showed a decrease of ≥50% from baseline parameters at week 10 for SS (100%), HSSI (100%), DLQI (95.5%), VAS (100%), ESR (100%), and CRP (72.7%). Clinically and statistically significant improvements from baseline were observed at 4 and 10 weeks in HSSI (P = 0.009 at both), SS (P = 0.021 at both), and DLQI (P = 0.044 at week 4, P = 0.009 at week 10). Adjunctive HBOT was considered to be effective in significantly improving antibiotic treatment of HS. The treatment was well tolerated, and no unexpected safety issues were identified.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Clindamycin / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Female
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / blood
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Clindamycin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Rifampin