Chair of Clinical Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Milan, Via Luigi Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milan, Italy,
The aim of this paper was to investigate the release of oxygen free radicals in patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease and the effects of immersion of the legs and feet in carbon dioxide (CO(2))-enriched water.
Twenty-five patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease (Fontaine stage II) and 15 healthy controls were treated by immersing the lower legs in either CO(2)-enriched or normal spa water. Blood samples were collected in heparinized tubes and total antioxidant status (TAS) and reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) were measured after five treatments a week for two weeks.
d-ROM plasma levels decreased in patients with peripheral occlusive disease after immersion in CO(2)-enriched water (P<0.001), and in healthy controls (P<0.01), in line with a significant increase in TAS (P<0.001).
CO(2)-enriched water immersion had a positive effect, reducing free radical plasma levels and raising the levels of antioxidants, suggesting an improvement in the microcirculation.