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Laryngoscope. 1998 Sep;108(9):1291-6.

Hyperbaric oxygen for the management of radionecrosis of bone and cartilage.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville 22906-0008, USA.



To review the use of hyperbaric oxygen in the management of radionecrosis of the head and neck.


A retrospective analysis of patients utilizing chart review and telephone interviews. All patients diagnosed with osteoradionecrosis and chondroradionecrosis of the head and neck and treated with hyperbaric oxygen at the University of Virginia are included.


Demographics, pretreatment data, and precipitating events were recorded. Outcomes were evaluated using a grading scale of symptomatology and physical examination as determined by the patient and physician.


Sixteen patients with osteoradionecrosis and five with chondroradionecrosis were reviewed. All patients showed clinical improvement with decreased pain following HBO therapy. None of the patients with chondroradionecrosis required laryngectomies, and two of the four who were tracheotomy dependent were successfully decannulated. The patient and physician grading scores demonstrated moderate to significant improvement in both groups following therapy.


The successful use of hyperbaric oxygen for the management of radionecrosis of the head and neck is supported. The unusual prevalence of chondroradionecrosis may be an early reflection of changes in treatment protocols for patients with head and neck cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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