Continuous diffusion of oxygen therapy: new hope for diabetic foot ulcers


Diabetic foot ulcers are not only a common and disabling condition among people with diabetes, but also a major cause of hospitalizations and the leading cause of lower-extremity amputations, because of a lack of effective treatment options. A recently completed, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial indicates promising results in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

The study, published by the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology on February 15, evaluated the safety and effectiveness of continuous diffusion of oxygen (CDO) therapy in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. Use of the portable TransCu O2 System from EO2 Concepts provided a continuous flow of humidified, pure oxygen that directly targeted the affected tissue within a moist wound therapy dressing for 24 hours a day. The results show that, compared to similarly treated patients receiving standard therapy with a placebo device, CDO therapy resulted in significantly higher rates of closure and faster time to closure. The study also reveals that CDO therapy appeared to have a greater effect in more chronic and larger wounds.

As an essential component in multiple mechanisms of wound healing, oxygen enhances general cell metabolism and energy production, cell proliferation, epithelialization, and collagen synthesis. Traditionally, hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves exposing the body to pure oxygen at a high pressure, to achieve supersaturated levels of oxygen in the bloodstream and tissues. However, this therapy is intermittent and relies on circulation and bulk devices to bring the oxygen to the damaged tissue. The newer topical oxygen therapy places the affected tissue within a chamber or bag under high concentrations of oxygen, which is a less-explored and less-expensive modality than hyperbaric oxygen therapy. But it is also discontinuous and the patient is unable to move during the treatment. The latest CDO therapy overcomes disadvantages of conventional oxygen therapies, allowing continuous oxygen treatment and greatly improving mobility for patients.

According to GlobalData, the total prevalent cases of diabetic foot ulcers among the diagnosed diabetic population will increase from 4,975,656 cases in 2015 to 7,063,884 cases in 2025 in seven major countries—US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Japan—at an Annual Growth Rate of 4.20%. The results of this trial suggest that CDO therapy can be an effective treatment alternative and benefit patients with diabetic foot ulcers.