Post-radiation hematuria (PRH), or blood clots in the urine sometimes accompanied with bladder pain or pain in the back, has been a common side effect of radiation delivered to the pelvis. This type of radiation treatment is common as a primary prostate cancer treatment as well as for men who have a prostate cancer recurrence post surgery.

One treatment for PRH, which has not been studied a lot is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO). Researchers evaluated the efficacy of HBO in the treatment of men suffering from PRH.

Their retrospective study included all men with PRH treated with HBO in a university hospital center between January 2003 and December 2013.

Seventy-one men were evaluated with sixty one (85.9%) of the evaluated men suffering with PRH resulting from prostate cancer treatment.

They found that the HBO was completely resolved in 52.1% of the men and as many as 65% of the men experienced at least partial improvement.  The researchers did note that prolonged patient follow-up is required to confirm the efficacy of this treatment. They also noted that in men with milder hematuria appeared to have the greatest improvement.

This data should serve to inform doctors of the potential utility of hyperbaric oxygen in cases of hematuria following pelvic radiotherapy.