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Angiology. 1999 Nov;50(11):883-9.

Treatment of venous leg ulcers with sulodexide.

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  • 1ASL città de Bologna, Angiology Service and Day Hospital Mengoli, Italy.


Venous ulcers are still today one of the main socioeconomic problems of medical interest in terms of prevalence, morbidity, and costs to the health service. In the past, various studies have been carried out to identify a systemic pharmacologic treatment able to accelerate venous ulcer healing times, but frequently the results have not been satisfactory. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of sulodexide, a drug with profibrinolytic and antithrombotic activity, in accelerating venous ulcer's healing time. Ninety-four patients (32 men and 62 women), aged 72 years old on average, were randomly distributed between two groups. In the first group ("control group") a standard treatment was applied, which consisted of cleansing by washing with physiological solution and the application of elastic compression with short-extensibility, removable bandages. The second group ("sulodexide group") received the standard treatment plus sulodexide (600 lipoprotein lipase releasing units [LRU] by im route per day for 30 consecutive days, followed by 500 LRU by oral route per day for a further 30 days). After 2 months the venous ulcers were found healed in 15 patients (36%) in the control group and in 30 patients (58%) in the sulodexide group (p = 0.03). The life table showed that the healing times were shorter in the sulodexide group in the first 2 months of treatment. Total healing times amounted to 110 days in the control group and 72 days in the sulodexide group (p = 0.08) and the results were in proportion to the initial severity of the lesion. A significant correlation was noted between ulcer healing times and severity of the initial ulcerous lesion, the duration of the ulcer, and the group the patient belonged to. No correlation was found between age, gender of the patient and the etiology of the ulcer. In conclusion sulodexide was shown effective in the treatment of venous leg ulcers, yielding healing more quickly than the standard treatment.

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