Carbon Dioxide Treatment Overview
A Brief Overview of CO2 Treatments and Their Effects
To begin a treatment, a plastic cover is applied to the area and "all" air is evacuated from the cover. Carbon dioxide is then injected into the cover with the goal of applying 100% carbon dioxide (Cardiox) gas to the skin of the patient. This localized Cardiox diffuses into, and through the skin, to underlying tissues. Transfer across the skin is enhanced by moist skin. Scientific studies demonstrate physiologic effects with only a 5% increase in carbon dioxide so, although diffusion may take some time, the required concentrations in the tissue are not very high.
At the site of activity there will be multiple physiological response through its activity on blood cells, blood vessels, and on the cells of the tissue. Carbon dioxide causes endothelial dependent dilation of small vessels and thereby an increase in tissue blood flow. In the red cells carbon dioxide binds directly to hemoglobin to cause the release of oxygen and thereby increase oxygenation of the tissues. In the cells of the tissue there are three effects currently reported in scientific studies. Firstly, inflammation is reduced through the CO2-dependent moderation of the NF-kB (NF-kappa B) pathway. Immunosuppression caused by elevated CO2 may be damaging in the context of infection. Conversely, hypercapnia may be beneficial in the context of destructive inflammation. Secondly, HIF(hypoxia induce factor) is elevated in hypoxic tissue to make cells more tolerant of hypoxia and preserve cell growth in a low oxygen environment. Tumor growth relies on this mechanism to maintain tumor growth. Carbon dioxide decreases HIF in the tissues and thereby causes tumor cell death. Thirdly, carbon dioxide is an antioxidant. In tissues where oxygen radical species are causing caustic tissue destruction, elevated carbon dioxide will balance the destructive process, and preserve normal tissue.