Intervention Review

Therapeutic ultrasound for pressure ulcers

  1. Ali Akbari Sari1,*,
  2. Kate Flemming2,
  3. Nicky A Cullum2,
  4. Uwe Wollina3

Editorial Group: Cochrane Wounds Group

Published Online: 19 JUL 2006

Assessed as up-to-date: 20 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001275.pub2

How to Cite

Akbari Sari A, Flemming K, Cullum NA, Wollina U. Therapeutic ultrasound for pressure ulcers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001275. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001275.pub2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Health Management and Economics, Tehran, Iran

  2. 2

    University of York, Department of Health Sciences, York, North Yorkshire, UK

  3. 3

    Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Academic Teaching Hospital of the Technical University, Department of Dermatology, Dresden, Germany

*Ali Akbari Sari, Health Management and Economics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Poorsina St, School of Public Health, Tehran, 1653867944, Iran.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: Edited (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 19 JUL 2006




  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. アブストラクト
  5. 摘要


Pressure ulcers have been recorded as occurring in 5 to 32% of patients admitted to a UK District General Hospital (the precise rate depends on case-mix) and 4 to 7% in the community. They represent a major burden of sickness and reduced quality of life for patients and their carers, and are costly to health service providers.

Pressure ulcers are treated by using wound dressings, relieving pressure on the wound, by treating concurrent conditions which may delay healing, and by the use of physical therapies such as electrical stimulation, laser therapy and ultrasound.


To assess the effect of therapeutic ultrasound on the healing of pressure ulcers.

Search methods

For this update we searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (April 2008) , The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) - The Cochrane Library Issue 2, 2008, Ovid MEDLINE (1950 to April Week 3 2008), Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2008 Week 16) and Ovid CINAHL (1982 to April Week 3 2008).

Selection criteria

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing therapeutic ultrasound with sham ultrasound or standard treatment.

Data collection and analysis

Two authors independently checked the result of the search to identify relevant RCTs. Details of eligible studies were extracted and summarised using a data extraction sheet. Attempts were made to obtain missing information by contacting authors. Data extraction was checked by a second author. Meta-analysis was used to combine the results of trials where the interventions and outcome measures were sufficiently similar.

Main results

Three trials involving 146 people were included. Two RCTs compared ultrasound therapy with sham ultrasound and the third compared a combination of ultrasound and ultraviolet light with laser and with standard treatment.

Neither of the two RCTs comparing ultrasound with sham found a significant difference in healing rates. The trials were pooled, in the absence of significant heterogeneity. There was no evidence of benefit associated with the use of ultrasound in the treatment of pressure ulcers.

In the three-arm comparison there was no statistically significant difference in ulcers healed.

Authors' conclusions

There is no evidence of benefit of ultrasound therapy in the treatment of pressure ulcers. However, the possibility of beneficial or harmful effect cannot be ruled out due to the small number of trials, some with methodological limitations and small numbers of participants. Further research is needed.


Plain language summary

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. アブストラクト
  5. 摘要

The effect of therapeutic ultrasound on pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcers (also called pressure sores, bed sores or decubitus ulcers) are sores on the body caused by pressure or rubbing. They usually happen to immobile people, on bony parts of their bodies, such as hips, heels and elbows.

Low levels of ultrasound (not enough to generate heat) are sometimes used to treat pressure ulcers. It is not clear how ultrasound might affect healing, and ultrasound waves may have a positive or negative impact on the blood flow around the sore. The review with three trials involving 146 people found that there is very little evidence from trials on the effects of ultrasound on pressure ulcers.



  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. アブストラクト
  5. 摘要







今回の改訂で、Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register(2008年4月)、Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials(CENTRAL)-コクラン・ライブラリ2008年第2号、Ovid MEDLINE(1950年~2008年4月第3週)、Ovid EMBASE(1980年~2008年第16週)、Ovid CINAHL(1982年~2008年4月第3週)を検索した。










監  訳: 仲上 豪二朗,2008.11.18

実施組織: 厚生労働省委託事業によりMindsが実施した。

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  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. アブストラクト
  5. 摘要



紀錄顯示,在英國地區型綜合醫院的住院病人中,有5 – 32% 的病人有褥瘡(pressure ulcers)的問題 (精確的數值取決於病例組合) ,而一般大眾罹患褥瘡的比例則為47% 。褥瘡是罹病者一主要的問題,降低了患者本人和照顧者的生活品質,對醫療服務提供者來說,亦是一大成本耗損。褥瘡的治療有傷口敷料、患部減壓、處理將影響復原的併發問題,以及包括電位刺激、雷射療法以及超音波等方式的物理治療。




我們搜尋截至2006年5月以前的Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials。除此之外,我們還以人工搜尋期刊、研討會文集、參考書目,以及相關文章的參考文獻。


比較治療性超音波和偽超音波、或標準療法之間差異的隨機對照試驗 (Randomised controlled trials;RCTs) 。









此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院 (National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan) 統籌。


治療性超音波對治療褥瘡的功效是不得而知的。褥瘡 (Pressure ulcers,又稱作pressure sores、 bed sores 或decubitus ulcers) 指的是因擠壓或摩擦而在身體上產生的潰瘍。褥瘡常好發於不能行動的患者,主要出現在患者的骨骼部位,像是臀部、腳後跟以及手肘等。低頻超音波(不足以產生熱能)有時被用於治療褥瘡,有關這種方式對傷口痊癒的功效,以及超音波對於傷口周邊的血流是否會有正面或負面的影響,迄今尚未得知。本份文獻探討回顧了共146位參與者的3項隨機對照試驗,發現只有極少數證據顯示超音波對於治療褥瘡具有功效。