Hyperbaric Oxygen for the Failing Heart

Heart disease

Can hyperbaric oxygen be used as adjunctive heart failure therapy through the induction of endogenous heat shock proteins?

Adv Ther. 2007 Jan-Feb;24(1):106-18.

Yogaratnam JZ, Laden G, Guvendik L, Cowen M, Cale A, Griffin S.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, United Kingdom. jeysenzy@msn.com

Heart failure (HF) is a chronic condition that is expected to increase in incidence along with increased life expectancy and an aging population. As the incidence of HF increases, the cost to national healthcare budgets is expected to run into the billions. The costs of lost productivity and increased social reliance on state support must also be considered. Recently, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has come to be seen as the major contributing factor to HF. Although thrombolysis may restore coronary perfusion after an AMI, it may also introduce ischemic reperfusion injury (IRI). In an attempt to ameliorate sustained protein damage caused by IRI, endogenous chaperone proteins known as heat shock proteins (HSPs) are induced as a consequence of the stress of IRI. Recently, hyperbaric oxygen has been shown to induce the production of HSPs in noncardiac tissue, with a resultant protective effect. This current opinion review article suggests a possible role for hyperbaric oxygen, as a technologically modern drug, in augmenting the induction of endogenous HSPs to repair and improve the function of failing hearts that have been damaged by AMI and IRI. In addition, this simple, safe, noninvasive drug may prove useful in easing the economic burden of HF on already overextended health resources

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