December 4th

Evaluation of two different intermittent pneumatic compression cycle settings in the healing of venous ulcers: A randomized trial

Suzana Nikolovska, Andrej Arsovski, Katerina Damevska, Gorgi Gocev, Ljubica Pavlova

Background: Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) has been sucessfully used in the treatment of venous ulcers, although the optimal setting of preassure, infl ation and defl ation times has not yet been established. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of two different combinations of IPC pump settings (rapid vs slow) in the healing of venous ulcers.

Methods: 104 patients with pure venous ulcers were randomized to receive either rapid IPC or slow IPC for one hour daily. The primary and secondary end points were the complete healing of the reference ulcer and the change in the area of the ulcer over the six months observational period, respectively.

Results: Complete healing of the reference ulcer occurred in 45 of the 52 patients treated with rapid IPC, and in 32 of the 52 patients treated with slow IPC. Life table analysis showed that the proportion of ulcers healed at six months was 86% in the group treated with the fast IPC regimen, compared with 61% in the group treated with slow IPC (p=0.003, log-rank test). The mean rate of healing per day in the rapid IPC group was found to be signifi cantly faster compared to the slow IPC group (0.09 cm2 vs 0.04 cm2, p=0.0002).

Conclusion: Treatment with rapid IPC healed venous ulcers more rapidly and in more patients than slow IPC. Both IPC treatments were well tolerated and accepted by the patients.These data suggest that the rapid IPC used in this study is more effective than slow IPC in venous ulcer healing.

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