Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may assist in the re-establishment of heart function in patients with post-COVID syndrome, according to a small randomized experiment.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may aid in the restoration of proper heart function in post-COVID patients, according to a small experiment, with participants in the HBOT group seeing a significant increase in global longitudinal strain (GLS), an indicator of cardiac function.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, in a small randomized trial in post-COVID patients, aids in the reinvention of the heart's capacity to contract properly. The work will be presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)'s annual congress in 2023.
Professor Marina Leitman of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and Shamir Medical Center in Be'er Ya'akov, Israel, said the study that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be beneficial for long-term COVID patients. "We used a sensitive measure of cardiac function that is not routinely performed in all hospitals."
Shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeats, body aches, rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, anxiety, and mood disorders are all symptoms of COVID-19.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was evaluated in a randomized controlled double-blind trial in which researchers studied long-term COVID patients' cardiac function. HBOT is a proven therapy for non-healing wounds, decompression sickness in divers, carbon monoxide poisoning, and certain types of infections.
After having mild to moderate symptomatic COVID-19 confirmed by a PCR test, 60 post-COVID syndrome patients were enrolled in a 1:1 ratio. Patients were randomized to HBOT or a sham procedure in a 1:1 ratio. Each patient received 90 minutes of oxygen through a mask at a pressure of two atmospheres. The sham group received 21% oxygen through a mask at 1 atmosphere.
Echocardiography was used to examine the left ventricular global longitudinal strain (GLS) which is a measure of the heart's ability to contract and relax in a longitudinal direction. It may be helpful in diagnosing early signs of cardiac disease.
Nearly half of study participants (29 out of 60; 48%) had reduced GLS at baseline; 13 (43%) and 16 (55.3%) were in the sham and HBOT groups, respectively, which had an average GLS of -17.8% at baseline and -19.1% after the intervention (p=0.0001).
"It was noteworthy that almost half of long COVID patients had impaired cardiac function at baseline according to GLS despite all participants having a normal ejection fraction, which is the standard method for measuring the heart's ability to contract."
"The findings suggest that HBOT supports cardiac function in post-COVID patients," said the author. Further research is needed to gather long-term data and determine the optimal number of sessions for maximum therapeutic effect."
EACVI 2023 will meet at the same time.