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Summary of COVID-19 thermotherapy studies

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50 patient thermotherapy late treatment RCT: 67% improved recovery (p=0.002).
RCT 50 hospitalized COVID-19 pneumonia patients showing faster recovery with ultra-short wave diathermy (USWD). The USWD group received standard treatment plus USWD applied to the chest for 10 minutes twice daily for 12 days. The USWD group had significantly faster clinical recovery by 6.7 days, lower systemic inflammation, and better outcomes on the 7-point clinical status scale on days 21 and 28 compared to the control group receiving only standard treatment. There was no significant difference in SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance. Pulmonary fibrosis observed prior to treatment was recovered in most patients in both groups, alleviating concerns over potential harms of USWD. Baseline severe cases were more common in the treatment group, 52 vs. 28%.

Jan 2021, Frontiers in Medicine,,

40 patient diathermy late treatment RCT: 84% lower ventilation (p=0.09), 76% lower ICU admission (p=0.07), and 67% improved recovery (p=0.005).
RCT 42 moderate COVID-19 inpatients showing significantly faster clinical and CT scan improvement with short-wave diathermy (SWD) treatment added to standard care, compared to placebo SWD plus standard care. 92.6% of the SWD group had clinical improvement at 14 days, compared to 69.2% in the control group. The SWD group also had significantly faster CT scan improvement. There was no significant difference in adverse events between groups, with only minor side effects like headache and dizziness reported.

Mar 2022, European J. Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine,,

105 patient thermotherapy late treatment RCT: 43% lower mortality (p=0.28), 21% lower ventilation (p=0.76), and 17% lower progression (p=0.67).
RCT 105 hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, evaluating the efficacy and safety of local thermotherapy (heating pads applied to the chest for 90 minutes twice daily for 5 days) to prevent disease progression, compared to standard care alone. The thermotherapy was well-tolerated with no significant adverse events. Reduction in NEWS-2 score was significantly faster with treatment. There was lower progression and mortality with treatment, without statistical significance. The study was underpowered due to early termination. The temperature used may be too low. Lung temperature is expected to be lower than the external skin surface temperature measured on the thorax, due to heat diffusion and dissipation that occurs in transferring thermal energy across the tissue layers of skin, adipose, muscle, connective tissue and bone between the heating pad and the lung. The treatment group had greater severity at baseline, NEWS-2 7 vs. 5, and PH-COVID-19 high-risk 7.5% vs. 0%...

Dec 2023, Frontiers in Medicine,,

22 patient thermotherapy late treatment study: 53% greater improvement (p=0.05).
Single-blind, sham-controlled, crossover study of 17 COVID-19 outpatients showing significantly increased peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels correlated with hyperthermia (up to 44°C) produced by 30 minutes of low-field thoracic magnetic stimulation (LF-ThMS) applied to the dorsal thorax. The safety and lack of adverse events supports future research into mechanisms and potential therapeutic use of localized heat therapy for improving respiratory function in COVID-19 patients.

May 2021, Medicine,,
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