High-voltage pulsed current (HVPC) improved the healing rate of recalcitrant Stage II and Stage III pressure ulcers in patients enrolled in a prospective, randomized controlled clinical study in Poland, according to an article published in Ostomy Wound Management. Research to compare the effectiveness of using cathodic and anodal stimulation combined or alone, and to determine the optimal duration of these 2 types of electrical stimulation, is warranted, say the article's authors.
Patients admitted for care and eligible to participate in this study received standard supportive care and topical treatments covered with wet-to-moist dressings. Patients assigned to the treatment arm of the study also received HVPC (100 V; 100 μs; 100 Hz) continuously for 50 minutes once daily, 5 times per week. Over a 4-year period, researchers enrolled 26 patients in the treatment and 24 in the control group. Researchers followed patients until healing or for a maximum of 6 weeks. Wound tracings and measurements were obtained weekly.
Ulcers had existed for an average of 3.17 and 2.83 months in the treatment and control groups, respectively. Most were classified as Stage II (17 in the treatment and 16 in the control group) with an average baseline size of 4.54 cm2 and 3.97 cm2, respectively. Wound areas and linear measurements decreased significantly in both groups, but increases in granulation tissue were significant in the treatment group only. Wound area, linear measurement, wound volume, and granulation tissue changes were statistically significantly greater in the treatment group than in the control group starting in the second week of treatment. Week 6 surface area change was 88.9% (SD 14) in the treatment group and 44.4% (SD 63.1) in the control group. Correlation coefficients between changes in wound surface area, longest length, and longest width were R = 0.96 and R = 0.98 in the treatment group and R = 0.94 and R = 0.89 in the control group.