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Thermotherapy for COVID-19
4 studies from 37 scientists
217 patients in 2 countries
Statistically significant lower risk for recovery.
3 studies from 3 independent teams in 2 countries show statistically significant improvements.
COVID-19 Thermotherapy studies. Feb 2024.
0 0.5 1 1.5+ All studies 56% With exclusions 56% Mortality 43% Hospitalization 40% Recovery 67% Viral clearance 80% RCTs 56% Late 56% Favorsthermotherapy Favorscontrol
Thermotherapy, or heat therapy includes hydrothermotherapy, hydrotherapy, and diathermy, methods for increasing internal body temperature which may have benefits similar to natural fever. Recent:
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Dec 22
Mancilla-Galindo et al., Frontiers in Medicine, doi:10.3389/fmed.2023.1256197 Regional moderate hyperthermia for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 (TherMoCoV study): a randomized controlled trial
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 ..
Nov 30
Bonfanti et al., Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, doi:10.1089/ther.2023.0030 Core Warming of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients Undergoing Mechanical Ventilation: A Pilot Study
11% higher mortality (p=1). RCT of 19 mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients randomized to standard care or core warming with an esophageal heat exchanger to target 39.8C for 72 hours. The core warming group reached higher temperatures but had similar outcomes in..
Mar 31
Tian et al., European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, doi:10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06892-1 Efficacy and safety of short-wave diathermy treatment for moderate COVID-19 patients: a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled clinical study
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 cli..
Feb 17
Wu et al., Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, doi:10.1007/s10517-022-05407-4 Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Oxidant Activity of Ultra-Short Wave Diathermy on LPS-Induced Rat Lung Injury
Animal study showing benefit of ultra-short wave diathermy (USWD) in reducing lung injury in a rat model of LPS-induced acute lung injury, a condition similar to COVID-19 acute respiratory distress. Authors found USWD decreased lung edema..
Dec 31
Kunutsor et al., Le Infezioni in Medicina, 1 Finnish sauna and COVID-19
Review of the potential role of passive heat therapy from Finnish saunas in reducing the risk of severe COVID-19. Authors suggest that regular sauna use may reduce COVID-19 severity by enhancing immune function, reducing inflammation, and..
Dec 21
Herder et al., PLOS Biology, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3001065 Elevated temperature inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in respiratory epithelium independently of IFN-mediated innate immune defenses
In vitro study using a 3D respiratory epithelial model and cells from human donors, showing that elevated temperature (39-40°C) restricts SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication independently of interferon-mediated antiviral defenses. Author..
May 25
Dominguez-Nicolas et al., Medicine, doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000027444 (date from preprint) Low-field thoracic magnetic stimulation increases peripheral oxygen saturation levels in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients
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 ma..
Feb 1
Huang et al., Frontiers in Medicine, doi:10.3389/fmed.2023.1149250 (date from preprint) Efficacy and safety of ultra-short wave diathermy on COVID-19 pneumonia: a pioneering study
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 gro..
Jan 31
Ramirez et al., Medical Hypotheses, doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110363 Hydrothermotherapy in prevention and treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19
70% lower mortality and 41% fewer cases. Hypothesis that hydrothermotherapy (such as saunas, steam baths, or hot baths) could help prevent and treat mild to moderate COVID-19 infections. Authors note that coronaviruses are vulnerable to heat, and that fever and heat treatments m..
Jan 22
Kunutsor et al., European Journal of Clinical Investigation, doi:10.1111/eci.13490 High fitness levels, frequent sauna bathing and risk of pneumonia in a cohort study: Are there potential implications for COVID‐19?
19% fewer cases (p=0.02). Prospective study of 2,275 middle-aged Finnish men showing significantly lower risk of future pneumonia with a combination of high cardiorespiratory fitness and frequent sauna bathing compared to each exposure alone. High cardiorespirator..
Jan 1
Mancilla-Galindo et al., International Journal of Hyperthermia, doi:10.1080/02656736.2021.1883127 Exploring the rationale for thermotherapy in COVID-19
Review of thermotherapy (mild heat treatment) as a potential therapy for COVID-19. Authors review evidence showing SARS-CoV-2 is heat-sensitive, with reduced viral replication efficiency at body temperature compared to cooler upper airway..
Nov 30
Larenas-Linnemann et al., World Allergy Organization Journal, doi:10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100476 Enhancing innate immunity against virus in times of COVID-19: Trying to untangle facts from fictions
Review of various interventions that may enhance innate immunity against respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2. The interventions are divided into lifestyle factors (exercise, forest walking, sleep, vitamins/supplements), non-specific immun..
Nov 23
Wrotek et al., Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, doi:10.1093/emph/eoaa044 Let fever do its job
Review of fever focusing on COVID-19. Authors note that fever is a key component of the acute phase response to infection. Fever enhances immune cell performance, induces cellular stress on pathogens, and acts synergistically with other s..
Jul 20
Cohen, M., F1000Research, doi:10.12688/f1000research.23299.2 Turning up the heat on COVID-19: heat as a therapeutic intervention
Review of the evidence supporting the use of heat therapy to treat and prevent viral respiratory infections like COVID-19. Author explains that enveloped viruses like coronaviruses are heat-sensitive and destroyed by temperatures tolerabl..
Jan 31
Ernst et al., Annals of Medicine, doi:10.3109/07853899009148930 Regular Sauna Bathing and the Incidence of Common Colds
28% fewer cases (p=0.05). Prospective study of regular sauna bathing, showing fewer common colds with treatment. Fifty volunteers were split into a treatment group that took weekly sauna baths and a control group that abstained. Over six months, the sauna group ha..
Jan 1
Zhang et al., Chinese Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 25:332-334 Application of ultrashort wave diathermy in treatment of severe acute respiratory
Retrospective study of 38 hospitalized SARS patients in China showing shortened hospital stay with addition of ultrashort wave diathermy to standard treatment. Patients received standard antiviral and corticosteroid treatment with or with..
Feb 15
Zellner et al., Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, 114:3 Human monocyte stimulation by experimental whole body hyperthermia
Analysis of the effect of whole body hyperthermia, used to model fever, on human monocyte function. Healthy volunteers were immersed in a 39.5°C hot water bath to elevate their body temperature. Hyperthermia led to increased expression of..
Apr 30
Downing et al., Journal of Interferon Research, doi:10.1089/jir.1988.8.143 Hyperthermia in Humans Enhances Interferon-γ Synthesis and Alters the Peripheral Lymphocyte Population
Analysis of induced hyperthermia (high body temperature) showing 10 times greater interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production and increased natural killer cells. This response was observed at a core body temperature of ~39°C, highlighting its pot..
May 1
Ruble, W. Life and Health, May 1919, 34:5 Sanitarium Treatment of Influenza
Retrospective comparison of army hospital vs. sanitarium treatment of influenza, showing lower progression to pneumonia and lower mortality with sanitarium treatment.
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