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INTRODUCTION: Diabetic foot is a frequent complication of diabetes mellitus with relevant economic and psychosocial issues, which requires optimisation of the therapeutic approach from health care providers. The main purpose was to review the literature on the clinical utility and future perspectives of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the adjunctive treatment of the diabetic foot.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane and Google Academic search engines were used, for articles since 2014, with an analysis of the following keywords: diabetic foot, diabetic ulcer and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Thirty-two publications were analysed and six review articles selected.
RESULTS: Hyperbaric oxygen has been reported to benefit healing process in follow-up periods up to six months and promising for a follow-up equal to or greater than twelve months. Low incidence of side effects was reported. The transcutaneous oxygen saturation of the foot was more significant in the groups of patients treated with this complementary therapy, and there was a decrease in the need for major amputation of the lower limbs.
DISCUSSION: Current evidence points to the clinical utility of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a complementary treatment. It has yet to be found the optimal clinical profile that would benefit from this type of treatment due to limitations on the analysed studies. Randomised, prospective clinical trials are essential to confirm these findings.