Advanced wound care therapies for nonhealing diabetic, venous, and arterial ulcers: A systematic review

Nancy Greer, Neal A. Foman, Roderick MacDonald, James Dorrian, Patrick Fitzgerald, Indulis Rutks, Timothy J. Wilt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Nonhealing ulcers affect patient quality of life and impose a substantial financial burden on the health care system. Purpose: To systematically evaluate benefits and harms of advanced wound care therapies for nonhealing diabetic, venous, and arterial ulcers. Data Sources: MEDLINE (1995 to June 2013), the Cochrane Library, and reference lists. Study Selection: English-language randomized trials reporting ulcer healing or time to complete healing in adults with nonhealing ulcers treated with advanced therapies. Data Extraction: Study characteristics, outcomes, adverse events, study quality, and strength of evidence were extracted by trained researchers and confirmed by the principal investigator. Data Synthesis: For diabetic ulcers, 35 trials (9 therapies) met eligibility criteria. There was moderate-strength evidence for improved healing with a biological skin equivalent (relative risk [RR], 1.58 [95% CI, 1.20 to 2.08]) and negative pressure wound therapy (RR, 1.49 [CI, 1.11 to 2.01]) compared with standard care and low-strength evidence for platelet-derived growth factors and silver cream compared with standard care. For venous ulcers, 20 trials (9 therapies) met eligibility criteria. There was moderate-strength evidence for improved healing with keratinocyte therapy (RR, 1.57 [CI, 1.16 to 2.11]) compared with standard care and low-strength evidence for biological dressing and a biological skin equivalent compared with standard care. One small trial of arterial ulcers reported improved healing with a biological skin equivalent compared with standard care. Overall, strength of evidence was low for ulcer healing and low or insufficient for time to complete healing. Limitations: Only studies of products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were reviewed. Studies were predominantly of fair or poor quality. Few trials compared 2 advanced therapies. Conclusion: Compared with standard care, some advanced wound care therapies may improve the proportion of ulcers healed and reduce time to healing, although evidence is limited. Primary Funding Source: Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-542
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Volume159
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2013

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