Laryngeal radionecrosis and hyperbaric oxygen therapy: report of 18 cases and review of the literature.


Journal Article

Laryngeal radionecrosis is a difficult late complication of radiotherapy. It is associated with hoarseness, edema, pain, weight loss, and upper airway obstruction. The medical treatment options are limited, and in severe cases, the patient may require tracheostomy or laryngectomy. We report clinical results in 18 patients treated with adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy for severe radionecrosis of the larynx. Of these 18 patients, 2 had grade 3 and 16 had grade 4 radionecrosis. The patients received a mean number of 41 HBO treatments (range, 6 to 80) at 2 atmospheres absolute for 2 hours, twice a day, 6 days a week. Thirteen patients (72.2%) had a major improvement after HBO therapy, and none of them required total laryngectomy. All patients preserved their voice and deglutition in good or normal condition. Five patients (27.8%) failed to have a good response to HBO and underwent total laryngectomy. One of these patients had local recurrence of his cancer 4 months later, and the other 3 had significant concurrent medical problems. The remaining patient received only 6 HBO treatments because of emergency heart surgery. These encouraging results are comparable to those of smaller previous studies suggesting that HBO has a beneficial effect in the management of advanced laryngeal radionecrosis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Filntisis, GA; Moon, RE; Kraft, KL; Farmer, JC; Scher, RL; Piantadosi, CA

Published Date

  • June 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 109 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 554 - 562

PubMed ID

  • 10855566

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10855566

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-4894

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/000348940010900605


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States