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Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2007 Feb;115(2):143-5.

Hydroxyurea associated leg ulcer succesfully treated with hyperbaric oxygen in a diabetic patient.

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Dokuz Eylul University, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Izmir, Turkey.


Oxygen tension in healing tissues is heterogeneous. Increased oxygen mostly stimulates repair mechanisms and enhances tissue healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases blood and tissue oxygen content and may help maintain cellular integrity and function. Hydroxyurea (HU) is a cytotoxic agent, which leads to inactivation of ribonucleotide reductase, inhibition of cellular DNA synthesis, and cell death in the S phase. HU induced leg ulcers occur after use of this agent for a long time and at higher cumulative doses. Here we describe a diabetic patient with foot ulcer associated with HU treatment for polycythemia vera, who was treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen and general wound care after discontinuation of HU. Faster improvement of leg ulcer in our patient compared to literature regarding HU withdrawal as single therapy suggests that hyperbaric oxygen may be helpful in the management of HU associated leg ulcers, especially in diabetic subjects.

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