Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy Promotes Healing and Microcirculation of Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Pilot Study

ArticleinAdvances in skin & wound care 28(5):212-9 · May 2015with 749 Reads
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Abstract
To examine the effects of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy on promoting the healing and microcirculation of chronic diabetic foot ulcers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on a homogenous subset of chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Hospital and university. 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. 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. Assessment on wound closure, wound depth, and microcirculation were performed at the baseline, end of the treatment period, and 1-month follow-up. 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. In this study, PEMF therapy seemed to accelerate wound healing and improve microcirculation.

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  • Use of pressure offloading devices in
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    Wu SC, Jensen JL, Weber AK, Robinson DE, Armstrong DG. Use of pressure offloading devices in
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    For the purpose of providing a summary of current clinical trials to determine whether povidone-iodine is beneficial or detrimental to wound healing, an integrated review was completed. Clinical trials were defined as any study that uses some concentration and form of povidone-iodine in a comparison or evaluation with other products or treatments resulting in an impact of povidone-iodine on wounds. The use of povidone-iodine for cleansing, irrigating, and dressing wounds is controversial. Wound healing is complex and requires safe and effective treatment modalities. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have been done with conflicting results on bactericidal effects and cytotoxicity of this antimicrobial agent. Human and animal in vivo studies in the last 10 years were used for this review because often the relevance of in vitro data in clinical conditions are questioned. The varied studies provide evidence that in most instances, povidone-iodine did not effectively promote good wound healing; in fact, most studies showed either impaired wound healing, reduced wound strength, or infection.
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    Nonhealing foot ulcers in patients with diabetes are the leading cause of complications such as infection and amputation. This is a review of the traditional methods of good wound care for the diabetic foot ulcer. We also introduce newer methods for the treatment of these ulcers including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, bioengineered tissue, and recombinant platelet-derived growth factor-BB. By using a multidisciplinary team approach to care and integrating traditional and new wound-healing technologies, the goal of the US Department of Health and Human Services to lower the diabetic amputation rate by 40% may be achieved.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    The reproducibility of capillaroscopic measurements of capillary blood cell velocity (CBV) in human nailfolds was investigated by use of the computerized system CapiFlow. Therefore, CBV measurements of two capillaries of each of three fingers together with laser Doppler fluxmetry (LDF) and skin temperature measurements were performed three times in five healthy volunteers. Short-term (1.5 h) intra-individual coefficient of variation (CV) of CBV was 18.4%. Long-term (7 days) CV amounted to 55.8%. Inter-individual CV was 55.9%. Short- and long-term intra-individual CVs of LDF were 25.4% and 37.3%. Inter-individual variation was 36.0%. Skin temperature showed short- and long-term CVs of 3.7% and 5.5% and inter-individual CV of 5.8%. In conclusion, measurement of CBV using CapiFlow is a suitable method to assess acute effects, but has limited value in investigating long-term effects. Because of the wide interindividual variability in both CBV and LDF, power calculations will reveal large numbers to investigate. Skin temperature has a relatively small intra- and inter-individual variation and is more suitable for long-term studies.
  • Article
    Foot ulceration is thought to affect 15% of people with diabetes at some time in their lives. The aim of this review is to assess the evidence for the effectiveness of debridement as a treatment for diabetic foot ulcers. Searches of electronic databases, hand searching journals, bibliographies and identification of unpublished work by written communication with recognised experts in the diabetic foot. Randomised controlled trials evaluating a method of debridement in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. The outcome had to include either complete healing or rate of healing. There was no restriction on articles/trials based on language or publication status. Data extraction and assessment of study quality were undertaken by one reviewer and checked by an Editor of the Wounds Group. 5 RCTs of debridement were identified; 3 RCTs assessed the effectiveness of a hydrogel as a debridement method, 1 RCT evaluated surgical debridement and 1 RCT evaluated larval therapy. Pooling the 3 hydrogel RCTs suggested that hydrogels are significantly more effective than gauze or standard care in healing diabetic foot ulcers (absolute risk difference 0.23; 95% CI: 0.10,0.36). Surgical debridement and larval therapy showed no significant benefit in these small trials. Other debridement methods such as enzyme preparations or polysaccharide beads have not been evaluated in RCTs of people with diabetes. There is evidence to suggest that hydrogel increases the healing rate of diabetic foot ulcers. More research is needed to evaluate the effects of a range of widely used debridement methods and of debridement per se.
  • Article
    To compare two non-invasive techniques of assessing wound healing, photography and high resolution ultrasound (HRUS) scanning, in experimentally induced full-thickness human skin wounds. Punch biopsy wounds, 4 mm in diameter, were made aseptically through locally anaesthetised skin on the anterior (volar) surface of the non-dominant forearm, 3 cm below the base of the cubital fossa, of 20 human participants. The wounds were treated with a topical antibiotic and covered for 3 days with Mepore sterile dressings. Wound healing was assessed on post-operative days 3, 7, 14 and 21 from photographs and HRUS B-scans. All photographs were taken of the wound site and adjacent intact skin under standardised conditions. The prints obtained were examined visually and digitised. Digital HRUS B-scans were taken through the centre of the wound bed and the adjacent intact skin parallel to the epidermis. Using the scanner's calibrated linear measurement capability, the wound width was measured adjacent to the deep surface of the scab, at the base of the wound, and midway between these two levels. The wound margins were more clearly defined in the HRUS scans than in the photographs of the wounds; in some of the latter the scab masked the wound margins. Changes in the surface width of the wound were affected by the time of scab dehiscence, which varied between volunteers. There was less individual variation in the width of the base of the wound, as measured from the HRUS scans. In contrast to photography, which allows recording of changes in the superficial aspect of the wound only, HRUS scanning permits the quantitative assessment of structural changes deep within the wound. Temporal changes in the width of the base of the wound can be used as an indication of the progress of repair.
  • Article
    Venous ulcers affect up to 2.5 million patients per year in the United States. Although not usually fatal, these chronic wounds severely affect patients' quality of life because of impaired mobility and substantial loss of productivity. Although venous ulcers are typically small initially, they are often undertreated, progressing to larger ulcers that are associated with more serious complications requiring more complex treatments. In this report we detail the pathogenesis of venous ulcers together with potential complications, including exudate, erythema, cellulitis, dermatitis, pain, and possible malignancy. The clinician's regimen should always include a wide range of treatment modalities to ensure comprehensive care and effective wound closure. The treatment modalities and specific protocol for venous ulcers are discussed, and include topical dressings, antibiotics, debridement, compression therapy, and cellular therapy. These treatment modalities, in combination with early recognition and regular monitoring using digital photography and planimetry measurements, will ensure rapid healing and minimize complications and cost.
  • Article
    We investigated the interrelated antihypotensive effects of static magnetic fields (SMF) and plasma catecholamine levels in reserpine-induced hypotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Seven-week-old male rats were exposed to two different ranges of SMF intensities, 3.0-10 mT (Bmax) or 7.5-25 mT (Bmax) for 12 weeks. Six experimental groups of 10 animals each were examined: (1) no exposure with intraperitoneal (ip) saline injection (sham exposed control); (2) 10 mT SMF exposure with ip saline injection (10 mT); (3) 25 mT SMF exposure with ip saline injection (25 mT); (4) no exposure with ip reserpine injection (RES); (5) 10 mT SMF exposure with ip reserpine injection (10 mT + RES); (6) 25 mT SMF exposure with ip reserpine injection (25 mT + RES). Reserpine (5 mg/kg) was administered three times a week for 12 weeks, and 18 h after each injection, arterial blood pressure (BP), heart rate, skin blood flow, plasma nitric oxide metabolites, plasma catecholamine levels, and behavioral parameters of a functional observational battery (FOB) were monitored. The action of reserpine significantly decreased BP, reduced plasma norepinephrine (NE), increased the FOB hunched posture score and decreased the number of rearing events in the RES group, compared with the respective age-matched control group. Exposure to 25 mT, but not 10 mT, for 2-12 weeks significantly prevented the reserpine-induced decrease of BP in the 25 mT + RES group compared with the respective RES group. Moreover, exposure to 25 mT for 5 weeks partially suppressed the reserpine-induced NE reduction, but did not bring about a complete reversal of reserpine effects. NE levels for the 25 mT + RES group for 5 weeks were significantly higher compared with the RES group, but still lower compared with the control group. In addition, the FOB hunched posture score for the 25 mT + RES group was significantly lower and the number of rearing events was higher compared with the RES group, but these behavioral parameters did not revert to control levels. There were no significant differences in any of the physiological or behavioral parameters measured between the 10 mT + RES and RES groups, nor between the two different SMF groups and the control group. These results indicate that 25 mT SMF with spatial gradients significantly suppressed the reserpine-induced hypotension and bradykinesia. The antihypotensive effects of SMF on the reserpine-treated group might be at least partially related to the inhibition of NE depletion.
  • Article
    Previously, we found that whole body exposure to static magnetic fields (SMF) at 10 mT (B(max)) and 25 mT (B(max)) for 2-9 weeks suppressed and delayed blood pressure (BP) elevation in young, stroke resistant, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). In this study, we investigated the interrelated antipressor effects of lower field strengths and nitric oxide (NO) metabolites (NO(x) = NO(2)(-) + NO(3)(-)) in SHR. Seven-week-old male rats were exposed to two different ranges of SMF intensity, 0.3-1.0 mT or 1.5-5.0 mT, for 12 weeks. Three experimental groups of 20 animals each were examined: (1) no exposure with intraperitoneal (ip) saline injection (sham-exposed control); (2) 1 mT SMF exposure with ip saline injection (1 mT); (3) 5 mT SMF exposure with ip saline injection (5 mT). Arterial BP, heart rate (HR), skin blood flow (SBF), plasma NO metabolites (NO(x)), and plasma catecholamine levels were monitored. SMF at 5 mT, but not 1 mT, significantly suppressed and retarded the early stage development of hypertension for several weeks, compared with the age matched, unexposed (sham exposed) control. Exposure to 5 mT resulted in reduced plasma NO(x) concentrations together with lower levels of angiotensin II and aldosterone in SHR. These results suggest that SMF may suppress and delay BP elevation via the NO pathways and hormonal regulatory systems.
  • Article
    The diabetic foot, a common complication that affects patients with diabetes mellitus, is a therapeutic challenge. It places an increasing burden on society; the patient and caregivers as well as health care systems and clinicians are touched by this problem. The management of the diabetic foot with ischemia consequent to peripheral arterial disease is vexing, often leading to successive amputations. Surgical reconstruction of the peripheral arteries has always been a consideration, although the concept of coexistent small vessel disease has prejudiced the notion of offering reconstructive surgery to these patients. This article examines some of the literature relating to bypass surgery with a view to addressing the aforementioned notion. An appraisal of the literature suggests that vascular reconstructive surgery offers benefits to the diabetic patient, albeit these papers have weaknesses related to study design and methodology. Improved studies are indicated to address the role of bypass surgery to help the diabetic patient with foot complications; it is reasonable to hope that our understanding of the fundamental concepts of the pathogenesis of diabetic foot disease will also improve.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    To determine toxicity indexes of commercially available skin, wound, and skin/wound cleansers on in vitro fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Seventeen cleansers and 3 liquid bath soaps were evaluated for cytotoxic effect on human infant dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes. Both skin cell types were exposed to serial 10-fold dilutions of each cleanser until treated cell viability was comparable to untreated controls. The experimental design allowed calculation of relative toxicity indexes ranging from 0 to 100,000. Shur-Clens, SAF-Clens, and saline were found to be the least toxic to fibroblasts (toxicity index 0); Dial Antibacterial Soap and Ivory Liqui-Gel were the most toxic (toxicity index 100,000). Biolex, Shur-Clens, and Techni-Care were the least toxic to keratinocytes (toxicity index 0); hydrogen peroxide, modified Dakin's solution, and povidone (10%) were found to be the most toxic (toxicity index 100,000). Successful cutaneous tissue repair depends on the viability of the principal cell types involved (fibroblasts and keratinocytes). Toxicity indexes provide helpful guidelines for subsequent in vivo evaluations and clinical applications. The study findings also suggest that judicious use of these supposedly innocuous agents should be considered in a clinical setting.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Diabetic foot problems are common throughout the world, resulting in major economic consequences for the patients, their families, and society. Foot ulcers are more likely to be of neuropathic origin, and therefore eminently preventable, in developing countries, which will experience the greatest rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the next 20 years. People at greatest risk of ulceration can easily be identified by careful clinical examination of the feet: education and frequent follow-up is indicated for these patients. When assessing the economic effects of diabetic foot disease, it is important to remember that rates of recurrence of foot ulcers are very high, being greater than 50% after 3 years. Costing should therefore include not only the immediate ulcer episode, but also social services, home care, and subsequent ulcer episodes. A broader view of total resource use should include some estimate of quality of life and the final outcome. An integrated care approach with regular screening and education of patients at risk requires low expenditure and has the potential to reduce the cost of health care.
  • Article
    Venous leg ulcers (which appear as open sores) can be caused by a blockage or breakdown in the veins of the legs. Compression, using bandages or hosiery (stockings), can help heal most of these ulcers. Electromagnetic therapy is also sometimes offered. Electromagnetic therapy is not a form of radiation or heating, but uses a field of electricity to try to promote healing. This review of trials concluded that, at present, there is no reliable evidence to show whether electromagnetic therapy can help heal venous leg ulcers.
  • Article
    Chronic wounds, particularly in diabetics, result in significant morbidity and mortality and have a profound economic impact. The authors demonstrate that pulsed electromagnetic fields significantly improve both diabetic and normal wound healing in 66 mice through up-regulation of fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 and are able to prevent tissue necrosis in diabetic tissue after an ischemic insult. Db/db and C57BL6 mice were wounded and exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields. Gross closure, cell proliferation, and vascularity were assessed. Cultured medium from human umbilical vein endothelial cells exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields was analyzed for FGF-2 and applied topically to wounds. Skin flaps were created on streptozocin-induced diabetic mice and exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields. Percentage necrosis, oxygen tension, and vascularity were determined. Pulsed electromagnetic fields accelerated wound closure in diabetic and normal mice. Cell proliferation and CD31 density were significantly increased in pulsed electromagnetic field-treated groups. Cultured medium from human umbilical vein endothelial cells in pulsed electromagnetic fields exhibited a three-fold increase in FGF-2, which facilitated healing when applied to wounds. Skin on diabetic mice exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields did not exhibit tissue necrosis and demonstrated oxygen tensions and vascularity comparable to those in normal animals. This study demonstrates that pulsed electromagnetic fields are able to accelerate wound healing under diabetic and normal conditions by up-regulation of FGF-2-mediated angiogenesis. They also prevented tissue necrosis in response to a standardized ischemic insult, suggesting that noninvasive angiogenic stimulation by pulsed electromagnetic fields may be useful to prevent ulcer formation, necrosis, and amputation in diabetic patients.
  • Article
    Footwear and offloading techniques are commonly used in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of foot ulcers in diabetes, but the evidence base to support this use is not well known. The goal of this review was to systematically assess the literature and to determine the available evidence on the use of footwear and offloading interventions for ulcer prevention, ulcer treatment, and plantar pressure reduction in the diabetic foot. A search was made for reports on the effectiveness of footwear and offloading interventions in preventing or healing foot ulcers or reducing plantar foot pressure in diabetic patients published prior to May 2006. Both controlled and uncontrolled studies were included. Assessment of the methodological quality of studies and data extraction was independently performed by two reviewers. Interventions were assigned into four subcategories: casting, footwear, surgical offloading and other offloading techniques. Of 1651 articles identified in the baseline search, 21 controlled studies were selected for grading following full text review. Another 108 uncontrolled and cross-sectional studies were examined. The evidence to support the use of footwear and surgical interventions for the prevention of ulceration is meagre. Evidence was found to support the use of total contact casts and other non-removable modalities for treatment of neuropathic plantar ulcers. More studies are needed to support the use of surgical offloading techniques for ulcer healing. Plantar pressure reduction can be achieved by several modalities including casts, walkers, and therapeutic footwear, but the diversity in methods and materials used limits the comparison of study results. This systematic review provides support for the use of non-removable devices for healing plantar foot ulcers. Furthermore, more high-quality studies are urgently needed to confirm the promising effects found in both controlled and uncontrolled studies of footwear and offloading interventions designed to prevent ulcers, heal ulcers, or reduce plantar pressure.