Skip to main content

14-07-2011 | Dermatology | Article

Ultrasound wound treatment as effective as surgical debridement


Free abstract

MedWire News: Results published in the journal Dermatology show that ultrasound-assisted wound treatment is as effective as surgical debridement for improving wound healing in patients with chronic leg ulcers.

Low-frequency ultrasound-based technology has recently been shown to stimulate healing of chronic wounds such as diabetic leg ulcers, but published data are minimal, partly due to the treatment's novelty.

Katharina Herberger (University Clinics of Hamburg, Germany) and colleagues compared conventional surgical debridement with ultrasound-assisted wound treatment for cleaning and promotion of healing in 67 patients with chronic leg ulcers.

In total, 34 patients were treated with the ultrasound technology and 33 had surgical wound debridement.

The team found that both treatments were effective and well tolerated, with 88.0% of the ultrasound and 85.2% of the debridement group experiencing more than minimal benefit (score of 1-4) on the Patient Benefit Index, where a score of zero is defined as no benefit and a score of four as maximum benefit.

The global quality of life score also increased significantly for all patients over the course of the treatment, and both techniques significantly reduced fibrin coatings, and increased granulation and epithelialization of the wounds to a similar degree.

In addition, there was no significant difference in the level of pain induced by the two procedures.

"Our data demonstrate that ultrasound-assisted wound treatment and wound debridement display comparably high benefits and tolerability," write the researchers.

"The current data situation does not yet allow a definitive statement on whether ultrasound-assisted wound treatment leads to stimulation of granulation and acceleration of the healing process at a level comparable to that of wound debridement," say Herberger et al.

"More detailed and, above all, comparative data would be extremely desirable," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert