Send to

Choose Destination

Links from PubMed

See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Intern Med. 2003 Oct 21;139(8):635-41.

Topical treatment of pressure ulcers with nerve growth factor: a randomized clinical trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Geriatrics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.



The prevalence of pressure ulcers of the foot is a major health care problem in frail elderly patients. A pressure sore dramatically increases the cost of medical and nursing care, and effective treatment has always been an essential nursing concern. Management options for pressure ulcers include local wound care; surgical repair; and, more recently, topical application of growth factors.


To examine the effects of topical treatment with nerve growth factor in patients with severe, noninfected pressure ulcers of the foot.


Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


Teaching nursing home of Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy.


36 persons with pressure ulcers of the foot.


18 patients received nerve growth factor treatment, and 18 patients received only conventional topical treatment.


The course of the ulcers during follow-up was evaluated by tracing the perimeter of the wound onto sterile, transparent block paper and determining the stage.


At baseline, the treatment and control groups did not differ across demographic variables, clinical characteristics, and functional measures. The mean area (+/-SD) of the ulcers was 1012 +/- 633 mm2 in the treatment group and 1012 +/- 655 mm2 in the control group (P > 0.2). The average reduction in pressure ulcer area at 6 weeks was statistically significantly greater in the treatment group than in the control group (738 +/- 393 mm2 vs. 485 +/- 384 mm2; P = 0.034).


Topical application of nerve growth factor may be an effective therapy for patients with severe pressure ulcers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk