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We studied the relationships of diabetic ulcer wound fluid matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), and transforming growth factor-ß1 (TGF-ß1) with wound healing rate.The ulcers were cleansed to remove exudates, and wound fluids were collected for analysis of MMP-2 and -9, TIMP-1, and TGF-ß1.At presentation, MMP-9 and the MMP-9–to–TIMP-1 ratio correlated inversely with the wound healing rate at 28 days (P < 0.001). MMP-9 and the MMP-9–to–TIMP-1 ratio were lower in the 23 patients who achieved complete healing at 12 weeks versus the 39 who did not. The pro–MMP-9 concentration was predictive of healing within 12 weeks. Addition of cutoffs for TIMP-1 (>480 pg/ml) and TGF-ß (>115 pg/ml) further improved its predictive power (area under the curve 0.94).These findings suggest that a milieu with high MMP-9 may be indicative of inflammation and poor wound healing. Measurements of MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TGF-ß in wound fluid may help to identify ulcers at risk of poor healing.