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Exp Gerontol. 1997 Nov-Dec;32(6):633-41.

Treatment of human ulcers by application of macrophages prepared from a blood unit.

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  • 1Center for Biology of Ageing, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Decubital ulcers contribute to morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. Macrophages play a major role in the process of wound healing. We compared the efficacy of local treatment of decubital ulcers in elderly patients using macrophages prepared from a blood unit, vs. conventional treatments. Patients with decubital ulcers (n = 199) hospitalized during one year in a Geriatric Hospital in Israel, were included in the study. The ulcers of 72 patients (average age 82), who provided informed consent, by themselves or by family, were treated by local injection of macrophages prepared from a blood unit in a closed sterile system. The remaining 127 patients (average age 79) were treated conventionally and served as controls. No exclusion criteria were applied. Only a completely healed ulcer was considered a positive outcome of treatment. In the macrophage-treated group 27% (36 out of 131 ulcers) were healed compared to 6% (15 out of 248) in the control group (p < 0.001). There was also a significantly faster healing in the experimental group (p < 0.02). No side effects were noted. We conclude that Macrophages prepared from a blood unit, in cost-effective, closed, sterile system, are significantly more effective than conventional methods for the treatment of ulcers in elderly patients.

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