By Staff Writer – January 30, 2020
The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center, one of the largest hyperbaric treatment centers in the world, today announced the results of a study that – for the first time in humans – demonstrates the positive, sustained effect of its hyperbaric oxygenation therapy (HBOT) protocols on heart function.
The observational, single-blinded, prospective study, published in The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging, evaluated the effect of consecutive HBOT treatment protocols on cardiac function in an aging population with “normal for their age” cardiac function. Results indicated an increase in left ventricular ejection fraction following 60 HBOT sessions, and higher global and regional left ventricular strain (efficacy of cardiac muscle contraction), demonstrating this protocol could be used as an effective, sustainable therapy to treat a healthy aging population for improved long-term heart function.
“As we age, a decrease in mitochondrial function occurs throughout the body, impacting the functionality of organs, including the heart,” said Shai Efrati, MD, Director of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, Shamir Medical Center, and study co-author. “For the first time in humans, using our HBOT protocol, we have demonstrated the possibility of heart functionality improvement in healthy, aging people. The results of this study are in accordance with other studies demonstrating that HBOT can improve mitochondrial function.”
Healthy patients receiving HBOT to improve cognitive function underwent a 60-session treatment course using the Sagol Center’s regenerative HBOT protocols. Using a high-resolution echocardiography, patients were evaluated before HBOT was administered and three weeks after treatment concluded, to identify the sustained effect of the treatment. The study was conducted on 31 patients and led by Marina Leitman, MD, Shmuel Fuchs, MD, Amir Hadanny, MD, Zvi Vered, MD, and Shai Efrati, MD.
Study authors noted, “A study on a larger and more diverse cohort is recommended to further evaluate the effect of HBOT on cardiac function. Nevertheless, these observations are intriguing, and we believe – original, and should be further pursued.”
Dr Marina Leitman
“Up until now, the effect of the hyperbaric oxygen environment on cardiac function was mostly evaluated during and after short-term exposures,” said Dr. Leitman, Head of the Echocardiography Unit and Non-invasive Cardiology Service at Shamir Medical Center and lead author of the study. “Unlike a single exposure to high pressure, the regenerative HBOT protocols that are administered at the Sagol Center have the potential to induce beneficial effects in heart function. Notably, these results show that even in a healthy asymptomatic population, cardiac function was improved, opening the door for further study on the impact of this novel therapy on conditions related to cardiac disease.”