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Adv Ther. 2014 Aug;31(8):817-36. doi: 10.1007/s12325-014-0140-x. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Pathogenesis and treatment of impaired wound healing in diabetes mellitus: new insights.

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Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Foot Center and Microcirculation lab, One Deaconess Rd, Boston, MA, USA.


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are one of the most common and serious complications of diabetes mellitus, as wound healing is impaired in the diabetic foot. Wound healing is a dynamic and complex biological process that can be divided into four partly overlapping phases: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferative and remodeling. These phases involve a large number of cell types, extracellular components, growth factors and cytokines. Diabetes mellitus causes impaired wound healing by affecting one or more biological mechanisms of these processes. Most often, it is triggered by hyperglycemia, chronic inflammation, micro- and macro-circulatory dysfunction, hypoxia, autonomic and sensory neuropathy, and impaired neuropeptide signaling. Research focused on thoroughly understanding these mechanisms would allow for specifically targeted treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. The main principles for DFU treatment are wound debridement, pressure off-loading, revascularization and infection management. New treatment options such as bioengineered skin substitutes, extracellular matrix proteins, growth factors, and negative pressure wound therapy, have emerged as adjunctive therapies for ulcers. Future treatment strategies include stem cell-based therapies, delivery of gene encoding growth factors, application of angiotensin receptors analogs and neuropeptides like substance P, as well as inhibition of inflammatory cytokines. This review provides an outlook of the pathophysiology in diabetic wound healing and summarizes the established and adjunctive treatment strategies, as well as the future therapeutic options for the treatment of DFUs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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