Healing of Diabetic Neuropathic Foot Ulcers Receiving Standard Treatment: A meta-analysis

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of the study was to determine the percentage of individuals with neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers receiving good wound care who heal within a defined period of time.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

We conducted a systematic review of the control groups of clinical trials that evaluated at treatment for diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers. The meta-analytic techniques used include an estimation of the weighted mean percentage healed by end point, an evaluation of the homogeneity of trials, and an estimate of the 95% CI of the grouped data. Grouped-data univariate and multivariate logistic regression was conducted to assess the impact of mean age, ulcer size, and duration on the percentage of ulcers healed at end point.

RESULTS

We found a total of 10 control groups meeting our criteria. Six control groups used 20 weeks as the end print for healing or nonhealing. For the six control arms with a 20-week end point, we found a weighted mean healing rate of 30.9% (95% CI 26.6-35.1). A similar analysis for the four 12-week arms found a mean healing rate of 24.2% (19.5-28.8). We failed to detect any statistically significant heterogeneity for either the 20-week or the 12-week trials.

CONCLUSIONS

After 20 weeks of good wound care, [approximately] 31% of diabetic neuropathic ulcers heal. Similarly, after 12 weeks of good care, [approximately] 24% of neuropathic ulcers attain complete healing. Further patient-level analyses are necessary to definitively determine the associations of age, wound size, and wound duration with likelihood of healing. Diabetes Care 22:692-695, 1999

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