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Diabetes Care. 1995 Jan;18(1):64-9.

Effect of topical basic fibroblast growth factor on the healing of chronic diabetic neuropathic ulcer of the foot. A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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  • 1Department of Dietetics and Diabetology, Centre Medical, Le Grau du Roi, France.



To assess the efficacy and safety of topical human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on the healing of diabetic neurotrophic foot ulcers.


Seventeen diabetic patients suffering from chronic neuropathic ulcer of the plantar surface of the foot entered a pilot, randomized, double-blind study comparing local application of bFGF with placebo. Main inclusion criteria were a typical neuropathic ulcer of Wagner grade I-III, more than 0.5 cm in the largest diameter, with an abnormally high vibration perception threshold in the absence of significant peripheral vascular disease or wound infection. bFGF or placebo was applied daily during the 6 weeks as inpatients then twice a week for 12 weeks. Evolution of ulcer size was assessed through weekly clinical examination and computerized photographs.


In the bFGF group, three of nine ulcers healed compared with five of eight in the placebo group (NS). The weekly reduction in ulcer perimeter and area was identical in both groups, as was the rate of linear advance from entry to the 6th week of treatment (bFGF: 0.053 +/- 0.048 mm vs. placebo: 0.116 +/- 1.129 mm): the same result was obtained at the 11th week. Moreover, percent healed area at the end of the study did not differ significantly. No side effects were observed during bFGF application.


Topical application of bFGF has no advantage over placebo for healing chronic neuropathic diabetic ulcer of the foot. Because diabetes causes significant wound-healing defects, we hypothesized that using a single growth factor might be insufficient to accelerate wound closure of diabetic ulcers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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