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Acta Vulnologica 2013 March;11(1):35-43


language: English, Italian

Low-power high-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in the treatment of skin ulcers: a report of eight clinical cases

Braga C., Forma O., Mercuri S., Gaiani T., Cazzarò U., Tremolada D., Biondo G., Roca E., Roca E., Chiarini E.

Service of Vulnology, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy


Aim: Inhospital and out-of-hospital management of skin ulcers poses challenges for clinicians on how to treat chronic wounds recalcitrant to conventional methods and the complications that often ensue.
Methods: Eight patients received low-power high-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (frequency range, 4-64 MHz) for the treatment of hard-to-heal skin ulcers. Patient perception of heat felt at the wound site was used as the parameter to regulate the power delivered by the machine without causing pain. The currents were delivered to the tissues by direct contact between the applicator and the skin or between electroconductive gel applied to the wound and an electrode placed on transparent film. In this way, single or multiple wounds and perilesional tissues could be treated with either static (electrodes) or dynamic pulsing (applicator) or both during the same appointment.
Results: In all, 11 wounds recalcitrant to conventional methods with advanced dressings were treated: healing without recurrence was observed in 4 wounds; the surface area decreased in 3 and increased in 4. Improvement in the wound bed was noted in the wounds that did not heal, with reduction and flattening of bed thickness suggestive of eventual healing.
Conclusion: This novel approach to the treatment of skin ulcers is the first to use low-power high frequency pulsed electromagnetic waves. On the basis of our results, it could serve as adjunct therapy in the management of skin ulcers and the treatment of wounds recalcitrant to conventional methods in particular. It offers the advantage that it is not invasive, does not negatively affect the patient’s quality of life, and does not interact with other therapies. A randomized controlled double-blind trial is needed to evaluate its effectiveness versus standard therapies.

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