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Arch Dermatol. 2011 Aug;147(8):926-30. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2011.84. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Topical treatment of hypertensive leg ulcers with platelet-derived growth factor-BB: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Service de Dermatologie, Hôpital Tenon, 4 rue de la Chine, 75970 Paris CEDEX 20, France. patricia.senet@tnn.aphp.fr.



To determine the healing effect of topical becaplermin gel vs hydrogel dressing on hypertensive leg ulcers.


Randomized, double-blind, parallel-assignment, controlled study.


Ambulatory or hospitalized patients from 17 dermatology departments.


Among 64 consecutive randomized patients with 1 or more hypertensive leg ulcers who fulfilled all inclusion criteria, 59 received the allocated intervention, and findings were analyzed.


Becaplermin gel (human recombinant platelet-derived growth factor-BB, 0.1%, in hydrogel) or hydrogel dressing was applied, both in doses of 1 cm/cm(2), once daily for 8 weeks. Follow-up continued for 4 weeks beyond the final gel application.


The primary end point was complete wound closure rate after 8 weeks of treatment. Secondary end points were percentages of patients with complete wound closure at week 12; changed ulcer area after treatment vs baseline; and changed ulcer-related pain and health-related quality of life during the study.


Complete wound closure rates were comparable after 8 weeks for becaplermin (5 of 28 patients) and hydrogel (3 of 31 patients) (8 percentage-point difference; 95% confidence interval, -10% to 26%). No statistically significant differences were observed between the 2 groups for percentages of complete closure at week 12, changed ulcer area at week 8, or changed ulcer-related pain and quality of life during the study (P > .05 for all comparisons).


Topical becaplermin gel is not superior to hydrogel dressing for hypertensive leg ulcer wound closure. Surgical management by grafting remains the most promising treatment strategy but requires further evaluation. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00970697.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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