Transitioning To Advanced Therapies For DFUs: Are Four Weeks And 50 Percent The Magic Numbers?

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What One Study Reveals About A Bioengineered Skin Substitute And The Rate Of Healing Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

In a prospective, randomized, multicenter study, Veves and colleagues analyzed 208 patients with diabetes who had full-thickness neuropathic ulcers, and observed the healing rates of diabetic neuropathic ulcers that were treated with Apligraf (Organogenesis) versus diabetic neuropathic ulcers treated with saline-moistened gauze.10 At baseline, the two groups were similar in regard to demographics, the type and duration of diabetes, and ulcer size and duration. The Apligraf group was comprised of 112 patients and there were 96 patients in the control group, which utilized saline-moistened gauze as treatment. Both groups received periodic debridement and offloading in addition to the respective treatment for their group.

The researchers analyzed 162 patients at the end of the study. The rate of healing was higher among those who had Apligraf applied every week than those who received saline moistened gauze. At the 12-week follow-up visit, 63 (56 percent) Apligraf-treated patients were completely healed in comparison to 36 patients (38 percent) treated with saline-moistened gauze. The average time to complete closure was 65 days for Apligraf, significantly lower than the 90 days researchers observed in the saline-moistened gauze group.

The rate of adverse reactions was similar between the two groups with the exception of osteomyelitis (3 percent in the Apligraf group versus 10 percent in the control group) and lower-limb amputations (6 percent versus 16 percent), both of which were less frequent in the Apligraf group. The study also noted the improvement in maceration, exudates and eschar in the Apligraf group from week 0 to week 12. Physicians should consider Apligraf for the management of diabetic foot ulcers that are resistant to the currently available standard of care.

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Author(s): 
Chanel Houston, DPM, Samirah Mohammed, DPM, and Peter A. Blume, DPM, FACFAS

22. Rowe VL. Diabetic ulcers. Available at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/460282-treatment . Accessed December 10, 2011.
23. Galkowska H, Olszewski WL, Wojewodzka U, Rosinski G, Karnafel W. Neurogenic factors in the impaired healing of diabetic foot ulcers. J Surg Res. 2006;134(2):252-258.

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