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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2005 Aug;51(8):24-39.

Ultrasound therapy for recalcitrant diabetic foot ulcers: results of a randomized, double-blind, controlled, multicenter study.

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Wound Treatment Program, Advocate Christ Medical Center, 4440 West 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453, USA.

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  • Ostomy Wound Manage. 2005 Sep;51(9):14.


An estimated 15% of patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer sometime in their life, making them 30 to 40 times more likely to undergo amputation due to a non-healing foot ulcer than the non-diabetic population. To determine the safety and efficacy of a new, non-contact, kilohertz ultrasound therapy for the healing of recalcitrant diabetic foot ulcers - as well as to evaluate the impact on total closure and quantitative bacterial cultures and the effect on healing of various levels of sharp/surgical debridement - a randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled, multicenter study was conducted in hospital-based and private wound care clinics. Patients (55 met criteria for efficacy analysis) received standard of care, which included products that provide a moist environment, offloading diabetic shoes and socks, debridement, wound evaluation, and measurement. The "therapy" was either active 40 KHz ultrasound delivered by a saline mist or a "sham device" which delivered a saline mist without the use of ultrasound. After 12 weeks of care, the proportion of wounds healed (defined as complete epithelialization without drainage) in the active ultrasound therapy device group was significantly higher than that in the sham control group (40.7% versus 14.3%, P = 0.0366, Fisher's exact test). The ultrasound treatment was easy to use and no difference in the number and type of adverse events between the two treatment groups was noted. Of interest, wounds were debrided at baseline followed by a quantitative culture biopsy. The results of these cultures demonstrated a significant bioburden (greater than 10(5)) in the majority of cases, despite a lack of clinical signs of infection. Compared to control, this therapeutic modality was found to increase the healing rate of recalcitrant, diabetic foot ulcers.

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