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Adv Skin Wound Care. 2015 May;28(5):212-9. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000462012.58911.53.

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy promotes healing and microcirculation of chronic diabetic foot ulcers: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Rachel Lai-Chu Kwan, MPhil, is a PhD candidate, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Wing-Cheung Wong, MBBS, is the Chief of Service and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Kwong Wah Hospital; Siu-Leung Yip, MMedSc, is a Resident, Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Kwong Wah Hospital; Ka-Lun Chan, MChS, is the Podiatrist-in-Charge, Department of Podiatry, Kwong Wah Hospital; Yong-Ping Zheng, PhD, is the Head and Professor, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and Gladys Lai-Ying Cheing, PhD, is Professor and Associate Head, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; all in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. The authors have disclosed they have no financial relationships related to this article. Acknowledgment: This project was supported by the General Research Fund provided by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR Government (grants PolyU 5128/08E and PolyU 5600/11M). Submitted December 16, 2013; accepted in revised form March 4, 2014.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the effects of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy on promoting the healing and microcirculation of chronic diabetic foot ulcers.

DESIGN:

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on a homogenous subset of chronic diabetic foot ulcers.

SETTING:

Hospital and university.

PATIENTS:

Thirteen subjects (7 in the PEMF group and 6 in the control group) diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had unsatisfactory healing of ulcer(s) in the preceding 4 weeks were recruited.

INTERVENTIONS:

Subjects were randomly allocated to receive either active PEMF therapy (duration: 60 minutes; frequency: 12 Hz; intensity: 12 Gauss) or nonactive PEMF for 14 sessions within 3 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Assessment on wound closure, wound depth, and microcirculation were performed at the baseline, end of the treatment period, and 1-month follow-up.

MAIN RESULTS:

By the end of the treatment period, there was an 18% decrease in wound size in the active PEMF group as compared with a 10% decrease in the control group. The PEMF group demonstrated significant cumulative increase in cutaneous capillary blood velocity (by 28%) and 14% increase in capillary diameter. In contrast, the control group showed a decrease in both capillary blood velocity and diameter.

CONCLUSION:

In this study, PEMF therapy seemed to accelerate wound healing and improve microcirculation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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