International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 657–663 | Cite as

Carbon dioxide balneotherapy and cardiovascular disease

  • Efstathios D. Pagourelias
  • Paraskevi G. Zorou
  • Miltiadis Tsaligopoulos
  • Vasilis G. Athyros
  • Asterios Karagiannis
  • Georgios K. Efthimiadis


Carbon dioxide (CO2) balneotherapy is a kind of remedy with a wide spectrum of applications which have been used since the Middle Ages. However, its potential use as an adjuvant therapeutic option in patients with cardiovascular disease is not yet fully clarified. We performed a thorough review of MEDLINE Database, EMBASE, ISI WEB of Knowledge, COCHRANE database and sites funded by balneotherapy centers across Europe in order to recognize relevant studies and aggregate evidence supporting the use of CO2 baths in various cardiovascular diseases. The three main effects of CO2 hydrotherapy during whole body or partial immersion, including decline in core temperature, an increase in cutaneous blood flow, and an elevation of the score on thermal sensation, are analyzed on a pathophysiology basis. Additionally, the indications and contra-indications of the method are presented in an evidence-based way, while the need for new methodologically sufficient studies examining the use of CO2 baths in other cardiovascular substrates is discussed.


Carbon dioxide Balneotherapy Cardiovascular Intermittent claudication 



This project was supported by the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (Code number 83898).

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efstathios D. Pagourelias
    • 1
  • Paraskevi G. Zorou
    • 2
  • Miltiadis Tsaligopoulos
    • 3
  • Vasilis G. Athyros
    • 4
  • Asterios Karagiannis
    • 4
  • Georgios K. Efthimiadis
    • 1
  1. 1.First Cardiology Department, AHEPA University Hospital, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.First Microbiology Laboratory, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Otorinolaringology Department, AHEPA University Hospital, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.Second Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Hippokration Hospital, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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