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J Wound Care. 2010 Jul;19(7):311-6.

Effect of an arginine-containing nutritional supplement on pressure ulcer healing in community spinal patients.

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  • 1School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia.



To determine whether or not the use of an arginine-containing nutritional supplement could result in significantly shorter pressure ulcer (PU) healing times in people with spinal cord injuries living in the community, compared with a comparative historical control group.


Eighteen spinal-cord-injured patients (all part of a hospital spinal outreach service) received 9 g of a commercial powdered arginine supplement per day until full PU healing occurred. Healing rates were compared against 17 historical control patients (as assessed by medical history audit).


Baseline characteristics (age, gender, injury level and time) were similar between groups. Mean ulcer healing times were 10.5 +/- 1.3 weeks versus 21 +/- 3.7 weeks (p<0.05) in the intervention and control groups respectively. Comparison of healing rates in the intervention group against expected healing rates derived from the medical literature showed that intervention patients had a significantly shorter mean healing time (category 2 PU: 5.5+/-1.3 weeks versus 13.4 weeks; category 3 PU: 12.5 +/- 1.9 weeks versus 18.2 weeks; category 4 PU: 14.4 +/- 4.8 weeks versus 22.1 weeks). A diagnosis of diabetes did not significantly alter healing rates in either group.


Results from this observational study show a promising benefit of arginine supplementation on PU healing for individuals with spinal cord injury living in the community.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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