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Wound Repair Regen. 2017 Aug;25(4):697-706. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12566. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for chronic wounds: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nan Lou of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.
School of Software and Microelectronics, Peking University, Beijing, China.
Wound Healing and Cell Biology Laboratory, the First Affiliated Hospital, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Trauma Center of Postgraduate Medical College, Beijing, China.


A growing number of clinical studies demonstrate that extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a feasible noninvasive method for improving chronic wound healing. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the effectiveness of ESWT compared with that of the standard care treatment for the healing of chronic wounds, irrespective of etiology, in clinical practice. Randomized controlled trials that investigated the effect of ESWT on chronic wounds with different etiologies from 2000 to 2017 were included in this review. The methodological quality of each selected article was rated using the Jadad scale. A fixed or random effects model was used to calculate the pooled effect sizes according to the heterogeneity of the studies. The cumulative effect of ESWT on each outcome was illustrated using forest plots. Seven randomized controlled trials involving 301 subjects were included in this review. Meta-analyses revealed that the use of ESWT as an adjunct to wound treatment could significantly accelerate the impaired healing process of chronic wounds. Compared with the control treatment, ESWT markedly increased the wound healing rate by 1.86-fold (OR = 2.86, 95% CI: 1.63-5.03, p = 0.0003) and the percentage of the wound healing area by 30.46% (SMD = 30.46; 95% CI: 23.80-37.12; p < 0.00001). In addition, the wound healing time was reduced by 19 days (SMD = -19.11, 95% CI: -23.74-(-14.47), p < 0.00001) in chronic wound patients. No serious complications or adverse effects were observed secondary to the application of ESWT. The above data suggested that ESWT as an adjunct to wound treatment, could more significantly improve the healing process of chronic wounds than the standard care treatment alone. More high-quality, well-controlled randomized trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of ESWT in clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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