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Alginate dressings for healing diabetic foot ulcers

  1. Jo C Dumville1,*,
  2. Susan O'Meara2,
  3. Sohan Deshpande3,
  4. Katharine Speak4

Editorial Group: Cochrane Wounds Group

Published Online: 25 JUN 2013

Assessed as up-to-date: 11 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009110.pub3


How to Cite

Dumville JC, O'Meara S, Deshpande S, Speak K. Alginate dressings for healing diabetic foot ulcers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD009110. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009110.pub3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Manchester, Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Manchester, UK

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    Kleijnen Systematic Reviews, York, UK

  4. 4

    York, UK

*Jo C Dumville, Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. jo.dumville@manchester.ac.uk.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New search for studies and content updated (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 25 JUN 2013

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Summary of findings    [Explanations]

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

 
Summary of findings for the main comparison. Alginate dressing compared to basic wound contact dressing for healing diabetic foot ulcers

Alginate dressing compared to basic wound contact dressing for healing diabetic foot ulcers

Patient or population: patients with
Settings: Any
Intervention: Alginate dressing
Comparison: basic wound contact dressing

OutcomesIllustrative comparative risks* (95% CI)Relative effect
(95% CI)
No of Participants
(studies)
Quality of the evidence
(GRADE)
Comments

Assumed riskCorresponding risk

Basic wound contact dressingAlginate dressing

Number of ulcers healedLow1 RR 1.09
(0.66 to 1.8)
114
(2 studies)
⊕⊕⊝⊝
low2,3

340 per 1000371 per 1000
(224 to 612)

Moderate1

530 per 1000578 per 1000
(350 to 954)

High1

650 per 1000708 per 1000
(429 to 1000)

HRQoL - not measuredSee commentSee commentNot estimable-See commentFoot ulcers in people with diabetes adversely affect quality of life however no study measured (or reported) this.

Adverse eventsSee commentSee commentNot estimable0
(0)
See commentReporting of adverse events appeared to be ad hoc and the number of events were extremely small.

*The basis for the assumed risk (e.g. the median control group risk across studies) is provided in footnotes. The corresponding risk (and its 95% confidence interval) is based on the assumed risk in the comparison group and the relative effect of the intervention (and its 95% CI).
CI: Confidence interval; RR: Risk ratio;

GRADE Working Group grades of evidence
High quality: Further research is very unlikely to change our confidence in the estimate of effect.
Moderate quality: Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and may change the estimate.
Low quality: Further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate.
Very low quality: We are very uncertain about the estimate.

 1 Baseline risk of healing obtained from external source in which data from 27,630 patients with a diabetic neuropathic foot ulcer was used to develop a simple prognostic model to predict likelihood of ulcer healing (Margolis DJ, Allen-Taylor L, Hoffstad O, Berlin JA. Diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers: predicting which ones will not heal. Am J Med. 2003;115:627-31). It is important to note that given an outcome of ulcer healing, low risk refers to a low risk of healing and thus reflects the most severe patient populations. Conversely high risk refers to a high risk of healing.
2 Both studies at unclear or high risk of bias
3 Studies were small, total number of participants 114 with only 40% achieving healing; this is an underpowered comparison.

 Summary of findings 2 Alginate dressings compared to foam dressings for healing diabetic foot ulcers

 

Background

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
 

Description of the condition

Diabetes mellitus, a condition which leads to high blood glucose concentrations is common and affects around 2.8 million people in the UK (approximately 4.3% of the population) (Diabetes UK 2011). This number is set to increase over the next 25 years as the incidence of diabetes increases rapidly (WHO 2005). Global projections suggest that the worldwide prevalence of diabetes is expected to rise to 4.4% by 2030, meaning that approximately 366 million people will be affected (Wild 2004).

Success in treating people with diabetes has improved their life expectancy. However, the increased prevalence of diabetes coupled with the extended time people live with the disease has led to a rise in the number of diabetes-related complications, such as neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It is estimated that lower extremity disease (defined as lower-extremity PAD, lower-extremity peripheral neuropathy or history of foot ulcer or lower-extremity amputations) is twice as common in people with diabetes compared with people without (Gregg 2004). Both neuropathy and PAD are risk factors for diabetic foot ulceration (Pecoraro 1990; Reiber 1999), which is a problem reported to affect 15% or more of the diabetic population at some time in their lives (Reiber 1996; Singh 2005). Around 1% to 4% of people with diabetes have foot ulcers at any given time (Abbott 2002; Kumar 1994). An ulcer forms as a result of damage to the epidermis and subsequent loss of underlying tissue. Specifically, the International Consensus on the Diabetic Foot defines a foot ulcer as a wound extending through the full thickness of the skin below the level of the ankle (Apelqvist 2000a). This is irrespective of duration and the ulcer can extend to muscle, tendon and bone. The Wagner wound classification system is well established and widely used for grading diabetic foot ulcers. The system assesses ulcer depth and the presence of osteomyelitis or gangrene in the following grades: grade 0 (pre- or post-ulcerative lesion), grade 1 (partial/full thickness ulcer), grade 2 (probing to tendon or capsule), grade 3 (deep with osteitis), grade 4 (partial foot gangrene) and grade 5 (whole foot gangrene) (Wagner 1981). However, newer grading systems, such as the PEDIS system (Schaper 2004) and the University of Texas Wound Classification System (Oyibo 2001) have been developed.

PAD and neuropathy can occur separately (ischaemic foot and neuropathic foot) or in combination (in the neuroischaemic foot). The over-arching term 'diabetic neuropathy' refers to a number of neuropathic syndromes. Chronic distal sensorimotor symmetrical neuropathy (abbreviated to distal symmetrical neuropathy) is the most common, affecting around 28% of people with diabetes. It can lead to ulceration through the following route(s) (Tesfaye 1996).

  • Sympathetic autonomic neuropathy leads to decreased sweating causing anhidrotic (dry) skin, which is prone to cracks and fissures causing a break in the dermal barrier (Tesfaye 1996).
  • Motor neuropathy causes wasting of the small, intrinsic muscles of the foot by de-enervation. As the muscles waste they cause retraction of the toes and lead to a subsequent deformity. The abnormal foot shape can promote ulcer development due to an increase in plantar pressures (Murray 1996).
  • Sensory neuropathy results in impaired sensation, making the patient unaware of potentially dangerous foreign bodies and injuries.

People with diabetes-related foot ulceration are treated in a variety of settings, for example community clinics, surgeries and their own homes, by a variety of practitioners; this can make data collection challenging. A UK study estimated that 2% of community-based diabetic patients develop new foot ulcers each year (Abbott 2002). In terms of healing, a meta-analysis of trials in which people with neuropathic ulcers received good wound care reported that 24% of ulcers attained complete healing by 12 weeks and 31% by 20 weeks (Margolis 1999). However, the risk of ulcer recurrence post-healing is high. Pound 2005 reported that 62% of ulcer patients (n = 231) became ulcer-free at some stage over a 31-month observation period. However, of the ulcer-free group 40% went on to develop a new or recurrent ulcer after a median of 126 days. The ulcer recurrence rate over five years can be as high as 70% (Dorresteijn 2010; Van Gils 1999).

Diabetic foot ulcers can seriously impact on an individual's quality of life and as many as 85% of foot-related amputations are preceded by ulceration (Apelqvist 2000b; Pecoraro 1990). Patients with diabetes have a 10 to 20-fold higher risk of losing a lower limb or part of a lower limb due to non-traumatic amputation than those without diabetes (Morris 1998; Wrobel 2001).

Diabetic foot ulcers represent a major use of health resources, incurring costs not only for dressings applied, but also staff costs (for podiatry, nurses, doctors), tests and investigations, antibiotics and specialist footwear. Currie 1998 estimated the cost of healing a foot ulcer in a patient with diabetes at around GBP 1451. Hospital admissions add further to the costs. Ten years ago the cost of diabetic foot ulceration to the UK National Health Service was believed to be about GBP 12.9 million per year (Spencer 2000) and this figure is likely to have increased significantly. The economic impact is also high in terms of the personal costs to patients and carers, for example costs associated with lost work time and productivity while the patient is non-weight bearing or hospitalised.

 

Description of the intervention

Broadly, the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers includes pressure relief (or off-loading) by resting the foot, or wearing special footwear or shoe inserts (or both); the removal of dead cellular material from the surface of the wound (debridement or desloughing)(Edwards 2010); infection control (Storm-Versloot 2007); and the use of wound dressings (Bergin 2006; Dumville 2011a; Dumville 2011b). Other general strategies in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers include: patient education (Dorresteijn 2010; Dorrestein 2001); optimisation of blood glucose control; correction (where possible) of arterial insufficiency; and surgical interventions (debridement, drainage of pus, revascularisation, amputation).

Dressings are widely used in wound care, both to protect the wound and to promote healing. Classification of a dressing normally depends on the key material used. Several attributes of an ideal wound dressing have been described (BNF 2010), including:

  • the ability of the dressing to absorb and contain exudate without leakage or strike-through;
  • lack of particulate contaminants left in the wound by the dressing;
  • thermal insulation;
  • permeability to water and impermeability to bacteria;
  • avoidance of wound trauma on dressing removal;
  • low frequency of required dressing changes required;
  • provision of pain relief; and
  • comfort.

There is a vast choice of dressings available to treat chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers. For ease of comparison this review has categorised dressings according to the British National Formulary 2010 (BNF 2010), which is freely available via the Internet. We will use generic names where possible, also providing UK trade names and manufacturers where these are available to allow cross reference with the BNF. However, it is important to note, however, that as a result of the way dressings are categorised, dressing names, manufacturers and distributors of dressings may vary from country to country, so these are provided as a guide only. Below is a description of all categories of dressings and includes the category of dressing (alginates) which is the focus of this review:

 

Basic wound contact dressings

Low-adherence dressings and wound contact materials: usually cotton pads which are placed directly in contact with the wound. They can be either non-medicated (e.g. paraffin gauze dressing) or medicated (e.g. containing povidone iodine or chlorhexidine). Examples are paraffin gauze dressing, BP 1993 and Xeroform (Covidien) dressing - a non-adherent petrolatum blend with 3% bismuth tribromophenate on fine mesh gauze.

Absorbent dressings: applied directly to the wound or used as secondary absorbent layers in the management of heavily exuding wounds. Examples include Primapore (Smith & Nephew), Mepore (Mölnlycke) and absorbent cotton gauze (BP 1988).

 

Advanced wound dressings

Alginate dressings: highly absorbent and come in the form of calcium alginate or calcium sodium alginate and can be combined with collagen. The alginate forms a gel when in contact with the wound surface which can be lifted off with dressing removal or rinsed away with sterile saline. Bonding to a secondary viscose pad increases absorbency. Examples are: Curasorb (Covidien), SeaSorb (Coloplast) and Sorbsan (Unomedical).

Foam dressings: normally contain hydrophilic polyurethane foam and are designed to absorb wound exudate and maintain a moist wound surface. There are various versions and some foam dressings include additional absorbent materials, such as viscose and acrylate fibres or particles of superabsorbent polyacrylate, or which are silicone-coated for non-traumatic removal. Examples are: Allevyn (Smith & Nephew), Biatain (Coloplast) and Tegaderm (3M).

Hydrogel dressings: consist of cross-linked insoluable polymers (i.e. starch or carboxymethylcellulose) and up to 96% water. These dressings are designed to absorb wound exudate or rehydrate a wound depending on the wound moisture levels. They are supplied in either flat sheets, an amorphous hydrogel or as beads. Examples are: ActiformCool (Activa) and Aquaflo (Covidien).

Films - permeable film and membrane dressings: permeable to water vapour and oxygen but not to water or microorganisms. Examples are Tegaderm (3M) and Opsite (Smith & Nephew).

Soft polymer dressings: dressings composed of a soft silicone polymer held in a non-adherent layer. They are moderately absorbent. Examples are: Mepitel (Mölnlycke) and Urgotul (Urgo).

Hydrocolloid dressings: are occlusive dressings usually composed of a hydrocolloid matrix bonded onto a vapour-permeable film or foam backing. When in contact with the wound surface this matrix forms a gel to provide a moist environment. Examples are: Granuflex (ConvaTec) and NU DERM (Systagenix). Fibrous alternatives have been developed which resemble alginates and are not occlusive but which are more absorbant than standard hydrocolloid dressings: Aquacel (ConvaTec).

Capillary-action dressings: consist of an absorbent core of hydrophilic fibres held between two low-adherent contact layers. Examples are: Advadraw (Advancis) and Vacutx (Protex).

Odour-absorbent dressings: dressings that contain charcoal and are used to absorb wound odour. Often these types of wound dressings are used in conjunction with a secondary dressing to improve absorbency. Example: CarboFLEX (ConvaTec).

 

Anti-microbial dressings

Honey-impregnated dressings: contain medical-grade honey which is proposed to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for acute or chronic wounds. Examples are: Medihoney (Medihoney) and Activon Tulle (Advancis).

Iodine-impregnated dressings: release free iodine when exposed to wound exudate, which is thought to act as a wound antiseptic. Examples are Iodoflex (Smith & Nephew) and Iodozyme (Insense).

Silver-impregnated dressings: used to treat infected wounds as silver ions are thought to have antimicrobial properties. Silver versions of most dressing types are available (e.g. silver foam, silver hydrocolloid etc). Examples are: Acticoat (Smith & Nephew) and Urgosorb Silver (Urgo).

Other antimicrobial dressings: these dressings are composed of a gauze or low-adherent dressing impregnated with an ointment thought to have antimicrobial properties. Examples are: chlorhexidine gauze dressing (Smith & Nephew) and Cutimed Sorbact (BSN Medical).

 

Specialist dressings

Protease-modulating matrix dressings: alter the activity of proteolytic enzymes in chronic wounds. Examples are: Promogran (Systagenix) and Sorbion (H & R).

The diversity of dressings available to clinicians (including variation within each type, listed above) makes evidence-based decision-making difficult when deciding the best treatment regimen for the patient. In a UK survey undertaken to determine treatments used for debriding diabetic foot ulcers, a diversity of treatments was reported (Smith 2003). It is possible that a similar scenario is true for dressing choice. A survey of Diabetes Specialist Nurses found that low/non-adherent dressings, hydrocolloids and alginate dressings were the most popular for all wound types, despite a paucity of evidence for any of these dressing types (Fiskin 1996). However, several new dressing types have been made available and heavily promoted in recent years. Some dressings now have an 'active' ingredient such as silver that are promoted as dressing treatment options to reduce infection and thus possibly also promote healing in this way. With increasingly sophisticated technology being applied to wound care, practitioners need to know how effective these often expensive dressings are compared with more traditional dressings.

 

How the intervention might work

Animal experiments conducted over 40 years ago suggested that an acute wound heals more quickly when its surface is kept moist, rather than left to dry and scab (Winter 1963). A moist environment is thought to provide optimal conditions for the cells involved in the healing process, as well as allowing autolytic debridement (removal/digestion of dead matter via the body), which is thought to be an important part of the healing pathway (Cardinal 2009). The desire to maintain a moist wound environment is a key driver for the use of wound dressings. Different wound dressings vary in their level of absorbency, so that a very wet wound can be treated with an absorbent dressing (such as an alginate dressing) to draw excess moisture away from the wound to avoid skin maceration, whilst a drier wound can be treated with a more occlusive dressing to maintain a moist environment. Alginate dressings contain sodium, or sodium and calcium, salts of alginic acid. These alginate salts are highly hydrophilic and can absorb large volumes of wound exudate.

 

Why it is important to do this review

Diabetic foot ulcers are a common consequence of diabetes internationally. Treatment with dressings forms a key part of the treatment pathway when caring for people with diabetic foot ulcers and there are many types of dressings that can be used, which also vary considerably in cost. Guidelines for the treatment of diabetic ulcer (e.g. Steed 2006) maintain that clinical judgement should be used to select a moist wound dressing.

However, previous reviews of the evidence for wound dressings as treatments for diabetic foot ulcers have not found evidence to support a specific dressing choice. Ten trials were eligible for inclusion in a UK Health Technology Assessment review of wound dressings published in 2000 (O'Meara 2000). The review included nine trials that investigated a dressing or topical treatment for healing diabetic foot ulcers. The review did not find any evidence to suggest that one dressing type was more or less effective in terms of treating diabetic foot ulcers. The methodological quality of trials was poor and all were small. Only one comparison was repeated in more than one trial. A further systematic review, conducted some years ago reported similar findings (Mason 1999). A more recent systematic review on the effectiveness of interventions to enhance the healing of chronic ulcers of the foot (Hinchliffe 2008) (search date December 2006) included only eight trials (randomised and non-randomised) did not identify any evidence that one dressing type was superior to another in terms of promoting ulcer healing. A Cochrane Review of silver-based wound dressings and topical agents for treating diabetic foot ulcers (Bergin 2006; search date 2010) did not find any studies that met its inclusion criteria. Finally, a review of antimicrobial treatments for diabetic foot ulcers (Nelson 2006) included dressings and found that existing evidence was too weak to recommend any antimicrobial product.

This review is part of a suite of Cochrane reviews investigating the use of dressings in the treatment of foot ulcers in people with diabetes mellitus. Each review will focus on a particular dressing type which in this review is the alginate dressing. Other reviews have considered hydrocolloid, hydrogel and foam dressings (Dumville 2011a; Dumville 2011b). These reviews will be summarised in an overview of reviews (Becker 2011), which will draw together all existing Cochrane review evidence regarding the use of dressings to treat foot ulcers in people with diabetes. While other existing review evidence may also be included in this overview, following Cochrane guidance, this will only occur in the absence of a relevant Cochrane Intervention review (Higgins 2011).

 

Objectives

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

To compare the effects of alginate wound dressings with no dressing or alternative dressings on the healing of foot ulcers in people with diabetes mellitus.

 

Methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
 

Criteria for considering studies for this review

 

Types of studies

Published or unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effects of any type of alginate wound dressing in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, irrespective of publication status or language.

 

Types of participants

Trials recruiting people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, with an open foot ulcer. Since we anticipated that study-specific classifications of ulcer diagnosis were likely to be too restrictive, we accepted the study authors' definitions of what they classed as diabetic foot ulcers. There was no restriction in relation to the aetiology of the ulcer, so trials recruiting people with ulcers of neuropathic, ischaemic or neuroischaemic causes were all eligible for inclusion.

We included trials involving participants of any age. We excluded trials that included patients with a number of different wound aetiologies in addition to diabetic foot ulcers (e.g. pressure ulcers, venous leg ulcers, mixed arterial/venous leg ulcers, arterial leg ulcers), unless the results for the subgroup of patients with a diabetic foot ulcer were reported separately or were available from authors on request.

 

Types of interventions

The primary intervention was the alginate wound dressing (BNF 2010). We included any RCT in which the presence or absence of a alginate dressing was the only systematic difference between treatment groups. We anticipated that likely comparisons would include alginate dressings compared with other dressing types or other interventions (which could be non-dressing treatments i.e. topical applications), or both.

 

Types of outcome measures

 

Primary outcomes

  • Time to ulcer healing; and,
  • number of ulcers completely healed within a specific time period (we assumed that the period of time in which healing occurred was the duration of the trial unless otherwise stated)

 

Secondary outcomes

  • Health-related quality of life (measured using a standardised generic questionnaire such as EQ-5D, SF-36, SF-12 or SF-6 or disease-specific questionnaire). We did not include ad hoc measures of quality of life which are likely not to be validated and will not be common to multiple trials;
  • number and level of amputations;
  • adverse events, including amputations, infection and pain (measured using survey/questionnaire/data capture process or visual analogue scale);
  • cost (including measurements of resource use such as number of dressing changes and nurse time);
  • ulcer recurrence;
  • change in ulcer area expressed as absolute changes (e.g. surface area changes in cm2 since baseline) or relative changes (e.g. percentage change in area relative to baseline).

 

Search methods for identification of studies

For the search methods used in the original version of this review see Appendix 1

 

Electronic searches

For this first update we searched the following databases in April 2013:

  • The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched 11 April 2013);
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 3);
  • Ovid MEDLINE (1950 to March Week 4 2013);
  • Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, April 10, 2013);
  • Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2013 April 05);
  • EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to 4 April 2013).

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) using the following exploded MeSH headings and keywords:

#1 MeSH descriptor Occlusive Dressings explode all trees
#2 MeSH descriptor Biological Dressings explode all trees
#3 MeSH descriptor Alginates explode all trees
#4 MeSH descriptor Hydrogels explode all trees
#5 MeSH descriptor Silver explode all trees
#6 MeSH descriptor Honey explode all trees
#7 (dressing* or alginate* or hydrogel* or "foam" or "bead" or "film" or "films" or tulle or gauze or non-adherent or "non adherent" or silver or honey or matrix):ti,ab,kw
#8 (#1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 OR #5 OR #6 OR #7)
#9 MeSH descriptor Foot Ulcer explode all trees
#10 MeSH descriptor Diabetic Foot explode all trees
#11 diabet* NEAR/3 ulcer*:ti,ab,kw
#12 diabet* NEAR/3 (foot or feet):ti,ab,kw
#13 diabet* NEAR/3 wound*:ti,ab,kw
#14 (#9 OR #10 OR #11 OR #12 OR #13)
#15 (#8 AND #14)

The search strategies used in Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL can be found in Appendix 2, Appendix 3 and Appendix 4 respectively. We combined the Ovid MEDLINE search with the Cochrane Highly Sensitive Search Strategy for identifying randomised trials in MEDLINE: sensitivity- and precision-maximising version (2008 revision) (Lefebvre 2011). We also combined the EMBASE and CINAHL searches with the trial filters developed by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN 2011). There were no restrictions on the basis of date or language of publication.

 

Searching other resources

In the original version of this review we attempted to contact researchers to obtain any unpublished data when needed. We also searched the reference lists of the included studies and previous systematic reviews. We contacted appropriate manufacturers (Smith & Nephew, Convatec Ltd, Mölnlycke Health Care, 3M Healthcare, Coloplast Ltd) for details of any unpublished studies.

 

Data collection and analysis

 

Selection of studies

Two review authors independently assessed the titles and abstracts of retrieved studies for relevance. After this initial assessment, we obtained all studies felt to be potentially relevant in full. Two review authors independently checked the full papers for eligibility, with disagreements resolved by discussion and, where required, the input of a third review author. We recorded all reasons for exclusion.

 

Data extraction and management

We extracted and summarised details of the eligible studies using a data extraction sheet. Two review authors extracted data independently and resolved disagreements by discussion. Where data were missing from reports we attempted to contact the study authors to obtain the missing information. We included studies published in duplicate once, but extracted the maximal amount of data. We extracted the following data :

  • country of origin;
  • type of ulcer;
  • unit of investigation (per patient) - single ulcer or foot or patient or multiple ulcers on the same patient;
  • care setting;
  • number of participants randomised to each trial arm;
  • eligibility criteria and key baseline participant data;
  • details of the dressing/treatment regimen received by each group;
  • details of any co-interventions;
  • primary and secondary outcome(s) (with definitions);
  • outcome data for primary and secondary outcomes (by group);
  • duration of follow-up;
  • number of withdrawals (by group);
  • adverse events, including amputation; and,
  • source of funding for trial.

 

Assessment of risk of bias in included studies

Two review authors independently assessed each included study using the Cochrane Collaboration tool for assessing risk of bias (Higgins 2011). This tool addresses six specific domains, namely sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding, incomplete outcome data, selective outcome reporting and other issues (e.g. extreme baseline imbalance, issues with unit of investigation) (see Appendix 5 for details of the criteria on which the judgement was based). We assessed blinding and completeness of outcome data for each outcome separately. We completed a 'Risk of bias' table for each eligible study. We resolved disagreements about risk of bias assessment by discussion. Where possible, where a lack of reported information resulted in an unclear decision, authors were contacted for clarification.

We have presented our assessment of risk of bias findings using a 'Risk of bias' summary figure, which presents all of the judgements in a cross-tabulation of study by entry. This display of internal validity indicates the weight readers may give the results of each study. We also aimed to present this assessment in the narrative review.

We classified trials as being at high risk of bias if they were rated 'high' for any one of three key criteria, i.e. randomisation sequence, allocation concealment and blinded outcome assessment.

 

Measures of treatment effect

Where possible, we have presented the outcome results for each trial with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We report estimates for dichotomous outcomes (e.g. ulcers healed during a particular time period) as risk ratios (RR). We used the RR rather than odds ratio (OR), since ORs (when interpreted as RR) can give an inflated impression of the effect size when event rates are high, as is the case for many trials reporting healing of chronic wounds (Deeks 2002). We planned to report outcomes relating to continuous data (e.g. percentage change in ulcer area) as mean differences (MD) and overall effect size (with 95% CI calculated). Where a study reported time to healing data (the probability of healing over a consecutive time period) we planned to report and plot these data (where possible) using hazard ratio estimates. If studies reporting time to event data (e.g. time to healing) did not report a hazard ratio, or reported these data incorrectly as a continuous variable, then, where feasible, we planned to estimate this using other reported outcomes, such as the numbers of events, through the application of available statistical methods (Tierney 2007).

 

Unit of analysis issues

We recorded whether trials measured outcomes in relation to an ulcer, a foot, a participant or whether multiple ulcers on the same participant were studied. We also recorded occasions where multiple ulcers on a participant had been (incorrectly) treated as independent within a study, rather than having within-patient analysis methods applied. We recorded this as part of the risk of bias assessment. Unless otherwise stated, where the number of wounds appeared to equal the number of participants, we treated the ulcer as the unit of analysis in this review.

 

Dealing with missing data

Missing data are common in trial reports. Excluding participants post-randomisation from the analysis or ignoring those participants lost to follow-up can, in effect, compromise the process of randomisation, and thus potentially introduce bias into the trial. In individual studies, where proportion of ulcers healed data were presented, we assumed that where randomised participants were not included in an analysis, their wound did not heal (that is, they would be considered in the denominator but not the numerator). Where a trial did not specify participant group numbers prior to dropout, we planned to present only complete case data. We planned to present data for time to healing, area change and for all secondary outcomes as a complete case analysis.

 

Assessment of heterogeneity

We considered both clinical and statistical heterogeneity. Wherever appropriate, we pooled data using meta-analysis (conducted using RevMan 5.1 (RevMan 2011)), that is where studies appeared similar in terms of level of participants, intervention type and duration, and outcome type. We assessed statistical heterogeneity using the chi² test (a significance level of P < 0.1 was considered to indicate heterogeneity) and the I² estimate (Higgins 2003). The I² estimate examines the percentage of total variation across studies due to heterogeneity rather than to chance. Values of I² over 50% indicate a high level of heterogeneity. In the absence of clinical heterogeneity and in the presence of statistical heterogeneity (I² over 50%), we used a random-effects model, however, we did not pool studies where heterogeneity was very high (I² over 75%). Where there was no clinical or statistical heterogeneity we envisaged using a fixed-effect model.

 

Data synthesis

We combined studies using a narrative overview with meta-analyses of outcome data where appropriate (in RevMan 5). The decision to include studies in a meta-analysis depended on the availability of treatment effect data and assessment of heterogeneity. For time to event data, we planned to plot log rank observed minus expected events estimates using a fixed-effect model (a random-effects model is not available for this analysis in RevMan 5). Where relevant, and possible, we planned to conduct sensitivity analysis to investigate the potential impact of studies at high risk of bias on pooled results.

 

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
 

Description of studies

See Characteristics of included studies; Characteristics of excluded studies

 

Results of the search

The search yielded 346 abstracts which were screened for potential inclusion in the review. Of these, 103 reports (for 85 studies) were obtained for a more detailed assessment and six studies were found to be eligible for inclusion in the review. No information about further eligible studies were obtained from the five commercial companies we contacted. We are not aware of any relevant on-going studies (ISRCTN register checked 24th April 2013). The update search conducted in April 2013 yielded 116 citations of which one study was obtained for further information (Turns 2012): this was excluded.

 

Included studies

Six studies (375 participants) were included in this review (Ahroni 1993; Baker 1993; Donaghue 1998; Foster 1994; Jude 2007; Lalau 2002): a summary is presented in  Table 1. Two studies were single-centred (Ahroni 1993; Baker 1993), two were multi-centred (Jude 2007; Lalau 2002), and the remaining studies did not detail the number of centres (Donaghue 1998; Foster 1994). Two studies were undertaken in the USA (Ahroni 1993; Donaghue 1998); two in the UK (Baker 1993; Foster 1994); and one in France (Lalau 2002); one study was multi-national, taking place in UK, France, Germany and Sweden (Jude 2007).

All studies were undertaken in adults with diabetes. One study included people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes (Lalau 2002). One study (Jude 2007) specified inclusion of only people with a Wagner grade 1 or 2 ulcer and an ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) above 0.8. Five studies excluded participants that had infected, sloughy or deep ulcers (Ahroni 1993; Baker 1993; Donaghue 1998; Foster 1994; Lalau 2002). In general it seems that studies aimed to include participants with relatively non-complex diabetic foot ulcers. The duration of trial follow-up ranged from four weeks (Ahroni 1993) to 12 weeks (Baker 1993), full details are presented in  Table 1. All included studies were two-armed, and one study employed unequal (2:1) randomisation with the treatment group being the larger group (Donaghue 1998). The most widely reported healing outcome was the number of ulcers healed (five studies); only Lalau 2002 did not provide these data. Mean time to healing was reported in two studies (Donaghue 1998; Jude 2007), while the more appropriate summary measure - median time to healing - was reported in two studies (Baker 1993; Foster 1994). The reporting of secondary outcomes was limited. Adverse event reporting did not appear to be systematic in most studies (with the exception of Jude 2007).

 

Excluded studies

Eighty studies were excluded from the review. The main reasons for exclusion were:

  • participants in the study were not randomised (10 trials);
  • no single, identifiable dressing group was evaluated (11 trials);
  • other intervention, not dressings, differ between trial arms (26 trials);
  • the dressing(s) evaluated were not alginate dressing (26 trials).

Various other reasons were recorded for the seven remaining studies (Characteristics of excluded studies).

 

Risk of bias in included studies

We classified studies rated 'High Risk' for any of three key domains: randomisation sequence, allocation concealment and blinded outcome assessment as being at high risk of bias (Characteristics of included studies; Figure 1; Figure 2). One included study was deemed to be at high risk of bias (Ahroni 1993). We rated the remaining five studies as being at unclear risk of bias due to poor reporting.

 FigureFigure 1. Risk of bias graph: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies.
 FigureFigure 2. Risk of bias summary: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study.

 

Allocation

 

Adequacy of randomisation process

All six studies were described as "randomised" however, only two reported the method used to generate the randomisation sequence; Baker 1993 reported the use of computer-generated randomisation, and Jude 2007 reported use of sealed envelopes. Both these trials were judged to be at low risk of bias for this domain. The randomisation method was not reported in the remaining four studies.

 

Allocation concealment

Jude 2007 reported the use of sealed envelopes for allocation, however, it was unclear whether these envelopes were sequentially numbered and opaque. The five remaining studies did not report the allocation procedure such that we could assess the degree of concealment.

 

Blinding

Assessment of wound healing can be subjective, and thus has the potential to be influenced if the outcome assessor is aware of the treatment allocation. In this review we focused on whether the studies had conducted a blinded outcome assessment. The study classed as being at high risk of bias reported that blinding was not possible because of the distinct appearance of the dressings without specifying the use of blinded outcome assessment (Ahroni 1993). One study reported adequate blinding of the outcome assessors (Lalau 2002), and hence was judged to be at low risk of bias for this domain. Blinding was not discussed In the remaining studies.

 

Incomplete outcome data

One study was judged to have high loss to follow-up (Lalau 2002), reporting that 13 out of 77 participants (17%) did not complete the full six weeks of the study. It seems that the authors conducted the main analysis at four weeks to 'gain' more data although this was not clearly reported. Ahroni 1993; Donaghue 1998 and Jude 2007 were deemed to have conducted an intention-to-treat analysis (thus at low risk of bias for this domain). The remaining studies did not report enough information to enable us to make a judgement about intention-to-treat analysis and so were classed as unclear (Baker 1993; Foster 1994).

 

Selective reporting

There was no evidence of selective reporting, and studies were deemed to be at unclear or low risk of bias. It is important to note, however, that judgements for this domain may be of limited value given that they were made by taking the reporting of outcomes in the results that were described in the methods at face value. Study reports were not compared to study protocols, which we did not actively seek out.

 

Other potential sources of bias

One study did not report its funding source (Baker 1993). The remaining five studies were funded by commercial organisations. Three studies reported some baseline imbalances for different baseline characteristics (Ahroni 1993; Foster 1994; Lalau 2002).

 

Effects of interventions

See:  Summary of findings for the main comparison Alginate dressing compared to basic wound contact dressing for healing diabetic foot ulcers;  Summary of findings 2 Alginate dressings compared to foam dressings for healing diabetic foot ulcers

 

Dressing compared with dressing

 

Advanced wound dressings compared with basic wound contact dressing

 
Comparison 1: Alginate dressings compared with basic wound contact dressings (three trials; 191 participants)

Three studies (Ahroni 1993; Donaghue 1998; Lalau 2002), involving a total of 191 participants, compared alginate dressings with basic wound contact dressings. Three different brands of alginate dressing were evaluated ( Table 1), namely two calcium-alginate dressings (Ahroni 1993; Lalau 2002), and a collagen-alginate dressing (Donaghue 1998). The three studies included different basic wound contact dressings: Ahroni 1993 used dry gauze, Donaghue 1998 saline gauze, and Lalau 2002 paraffin gauze.

 
Primary outcome: ulcer healing

Ahroni 1993 had a follow-up time of four weeks. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed between the alginate-dressed group (5/20; 25%) and the basic wound contact-dressed group (7/19; 37%): RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.26 to 1.77 ( Analysis 1.1). This study had a notable difference in baseline ulcer duration with the alginate-dressed group, on average, having older ulcers (mean ulcer duration: 132.9 days in the alginate-dressed group and 74.9 days in the basic wound contact-dressed group). This study was recorded as being at high risk of bias due to non-blinded outcome assessment.
Donaghue 1998 had a maximum follow-up time of eight weeks. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed in the alginate-dressed group (24/50; 48%) compared with the basic wound contact-dressed group (9/25; 36%): RR 1.33, 95% CI 0.73 to 2.42 ( Analysis 1.1). The mean time to healing was reported as 6.2 weeks (standard deviation (SD) 0.4) for the alginate-dressed group and 5.8 weeks (SD 0.4) for the basic wound contact-dressed group. However, it is important to note that median rather than mean time to healing is normally the more appropriate time-to-healing measure since it allows the inclusion of data from participants who do not heal during the course of the study (and thus cannot provide a healing time). It is not clear how these data were dealt with in the calculation of the mean value presented. This study was recorded as being at unclear risk of bias.
Lalau 2002 had a follow-up time of six weeks, although it was unclear whether only the four-week outcome data were analysed. The study did not report number of ulcers healed, but reported surrogate outcomes. The number of ulcers with granulated tissue over 75% of wound area and 40% decrease in wound surface area was 42.8% in the alginate-dressed group and 28.5% in the basic wound contact-dressed group (raw data not provided). The mean change in ulcer area at the four-week follow-up was similar between the two groups: a 35.7% reduction in area in the alginate-dressed group and a 34.9% reduction in the basic wound contact-dressed group.

We pooled ulcer healed data from Ahroni 1993 and Donaghue 1998 (heterogeneity Chi² 1.37, P value 0.24; I² value 27%) in a fixed-effect meta-analysis ( Analysis 1.1). There was no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed in the alginate-dressed groups compared with the basic wound contact-dressed groups: RR 1.09 (95% CI 0.66 to 1.80).

 
Secondary outcomes

Ahroni 1993 reported two amputations in each trial group (four amputations in total), but these occurred after the four-week follow-up. Six additional adverse events were noted in the study report for the alginate-dressed group (four antibiotic treatments, one death and one septicaemia), and four in the basic wound contact-dressed group (three required antibiotic treatment and one death).
Donaghue 1998 reported that six trial participants had adverse events, but it was not clear to which groups these participants belonged, and the adverse events were not described.

Summary: Alginate dressings compared with basic wound contact dressings

There was no statistically significant difference in the number of diabetic foot ulcers healed when treated with an alginate dressing compared with basic wound contact dressings in studies with four to eight weeks of follow-up. One reported study was classed as being at high risk of bias. Limited secondary outcome data were presented, so we could not draw any conclusions about the advantages or disadvantages of these treatments in terms of cost, quality of life, adverse events or ulcer recurrence.

 

Advanced dressing compared with advanced dressing

 
Comparison 2: Alginate dressing compared with foam dressing (two trials; 50 participants)

Two studies (Baker 1993; Foster 1994), with a total of 50 participants compared alginate dressings with foam dressings. Both studies compared the same foam dressing, but two different brands of calcium-alginate dressings ( Table 1).

 
Primary outcome: ulcer healing

Baker 1993 had a maximum follow-up period of 12 weeks. Significantly more ulcers in the foam-dressed group healed compared with the alginate-dressed group (foam: 9/10; 90%; alginate: 4/10; 40%). This difference was statistically significant: RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.98 in favour of the foam dressing ( Analysis 2.1). The study report also noted that a Cox's proportional hazards model adjusted for initial ulcer size and duration of ulcer at baseline (as well as treatment effect) returned a hazard ratio of 4.04 in favour of foam dressing (95% CI 1.18 to 13.84). We did not have the raw data to replicate this analysis, however, the median time to healing was reported as 28 days in the foam-dressed group and had not been reached by 84 days in the alginate-dressed group (i.e. less than half of participants in this group had healed by the end of the follow-up period, so the median could not be calculated). This study was classed as being at unclear risk of bias due to the limited information available in the study report.

Foster 1994 had a maximum follow-up period of eight weeks. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed between the alginate-dressed group (8/15; 53%) and the foam-dressed group (9/15; 60%): RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.67 ( Analysis 2.1). The median time to healing was estimated by the review authors from a graph presented in the study report as being 42 days for the alginate-dressed group and 40 days for the foam-dressed group. This study was also classed as being at unclear risk of bias due to the limited information available in the study report. Differences in baseline characteristics between groups were noted, specifically that participants in the alginate-dressed group had a mean age of 70 years, while those in the foam-dressed group had a mean age of 61 years.

We pooled the data on number of ulcers healed from Baker 1993 and Foster 1994 using a fixed effect model (heterogeneity Chi² 1.83: P value 0.18; I² value 45%). There was no statistically significant difference in the risk of healing between the alginate- and foam-dressed groups: RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.08.

 
Secondary outcomes

The Baker 1993 trial did not report secondary outcomes. There was limited reporting of adverse events in the Foster 1994 trial, with no events reported in the foam-dressed group and four in the alginate-dressed group.

Summary: Foam dressings compared with alginate dressings

Limited data from two small studies at unclear risk of bias found no statistically significant difference in ulcer healing between alginate and foam dressings. It is important to note the short follow-up times and small sample sizes for these trials.

 

Antimicrobial dressing compared with non anti-microbial dressing

Jude 2007 was a two-armed study with 134 participants that compared a silver fibrous-hydrocolloid dressing with a calcium-alginate dressing ( Table 1).

 
Comparison 3: Silver fibrous-hydrocolloid dressing compared with an alginate dressing (one trial; 134 participants)
 
Primary outcome: ulcer healing

The Jude 2007 trial had a follow-up period of eight weeks. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed in the silver fibrous-hydrocolloid-dressed group (21/67; 31%) compared with the alginate-dressed group (15/67; 22%): RR 1.40, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.47 ( Analysis 3.1). The mean time to healing was reported as 52.6 days (SD 1.8) in the silver fibrous-hydrocolloid-dressed group compared with 57.7 days (SD 1.7) in the alginate-dressed group.                                                 

 
Secondary outcomes

In the Jude 2007 trial 25 participants experienced one or more adverse events in the silver fibrous-hydrocolloid-dressed group (including one death) compared with 26 participants in the alginate-dressed group (including one death). The mean number of dressing changes during the study were similar for both group (21.9 for the silver fibrous-hydrocolloid-dressed group and 20.8 for the alginate-dressed group). There were more infections (type unclear) in the fibrous hydrocolloid group (14 versus eight).    

Summary: Silver fibrous-hydrocolloid dressing compared with an alginate dressing

There was no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed between antimicrobial (silver) hydrocolloid dressings and standard alginate dressings.

 

Summary of Findings Table

We have included Summary of Findings tables ( Summary of findings for the main comparison;  Summary of findings 2) in this review, which give a concise overview and synthesis of the volume and quality of the evidence. The Summary of Findings tables (one each for alginate dressing compared with basic wound contact dressing and alginate dressing compared with foam dressing) confirm our conclusion that the volume and quality of the evidence are low and on balance there is no strong evidence of a benefit of using alginate dressings for healing foot ulcers in people with diabetes.

 

Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
 

Summary of main results

This review has identified, appraised and presented all available RCT evidence (six studies) regarding the clinical effectiveness of alginate wound dressings in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

We found no evidence that alginate dressings promote the healing of diabetic foot ulcers compared with basic wound contact dressings. When data from two studies (eight and 12 weeks follow-up) were pooled, there was no statistically significant difference in ulcer healing between alginate and foam dressings. Finally, there was no evidence of any difference in the number of diabetic foot ulcers healed when treated with an anti-microbial (silver) hydrocolloid dressing compared with a standard alginate dressing (eight-week follow-up). We note that most included studies evaluated treatments on participants with non-complex foot ulcers. This means that the body of literature presented may be of limited use to health professionals in the treatment of patients with harder to heal foot ulcers, as it is difficult to generalise from the studies included to patients with more co-morbidities or complications; this is a limitation of the RCTs that have been undertaken in this field thus far. Included trials were small and therefore statistically underpowered to detect important treatment differences should they exist.

 

Quality of the evidence

All studies included study in this review were of high or unclear risk of bias. In general studies did not follow good practice conduct and reporting guidelines e.g. CONSORT (Schulz 2010). Key areas of good practice are the robust generation of a randomisation sequence, for example, computer generated, robust allocation concealment, for example the use of a telephone randomisation service and blinded outcome assessment where possible. All this information should be clearly stated in the study report as all trial authors should anticipate the inclusion of their trials in systematic reviews. In terms of analysis, where possible, data from all participants should be included, that is an ITT analysis should be conducted. Steps should be taken during trial conduct to prevent missing data as far as is possible. Where missing data are an issue, imputation methods should be considered and clearly reported when implemented. Finally, where possible robust economic data should be collected.

 

Potential biases in the review process

The review considered as much evidence as it was possible to obtain, including studies that were not published in English-language journals. We contacted relevant pharmaceutical companies but did not receive any RCT data from them. There is a potential for publication bias, however, this is likely to be a limited issue in this review given the large number of negative findings that have been published. It is also important to note that two studies are awaiting assessment and may be included in future reviews.

 

Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews

Current evidence does not indicate a difference between alginate dressings and other types of dressing in terms of ability to heal diabetic foot ulcers. This finding is consistent with that of the most recent systematic review in the area (Hinchliffe 2008), which did not find evidence that any dressing type was more effective than others in healing diabetic foot ulcers.

 

Authors' conclusions

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

 

Implications for practice

A comprehensive review of current evidence did not find evidence that alginate dressings promote the healing of diabetic foot ulcers compared with alternative dressings. Practitioners may therefore elect to consider other characteristics such as costs and symptom management properties when choosing between alternatives.

 
Implications for research

Current evidence suggests that there is no difference in ulcer healing between alginate dressings and the other dressing types that have been evaluated. In terms of dressing choice, any investment in future research must maximise its value to decision-makers. Given the large number of dressing options, the design of future trials should be driven by the questions of high priority to patients and other decision makers. It is also important for research to ensure that the outcomes that are collected in research studies are those that matter to patients, carers and health professionals. It may be that dressings should be viewed as management tools and that other treatments that address patient lifestyle issues deserve attention. Where trials are conducted, good practice guidelines must be followed in their design, implementation and reporting. Further reviews are being conducted to synthesise evidence regarding the effect of other dressings on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. It would then be useful to conduct further evidence synthesis (overviews of reviews, mixed treatment comparisons or both) to aid decision-making about the choice of dressings for diabetic foot ulcers across all dressing options.

 

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

The authors would like to thank the following people who reviewed the protocol and review for clarity, readability and rigour: Wounds Group editors (Julie Bruce, Andrea Nelson and Gill Worthy) and peer referees (David Armstrong, Duncan Chambers and Janet Yarrow), and also copy editor Jenny Bellorini.

 

Data and analyses

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
Download statistical data

 
Comparison 1. Alginate dressing compared with basic wound contact dressing

Outcome or subgroup titleNo. of studiesNo. of participantsStatistical methodEffect size

 1 Number of ulcers healed2114Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI)1.09 [0.66, 1.80]

 
Comparison 2. Alginate dressings compared with foam dressings

Outcome or subgroup titleNo. of studiesNo. of participantsStatistical methodEffect size

 1 Number of ulcers healed250Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI)0.67 [0.41, 1.08]

 
Comparison 3. Silver hydrocolloid dressing compared with alginate dressing

Outcome or subgroup titleNo. of studiesNo. of participantsStatistical methodEffect size

 1 Number of ulcers healed1Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI)Subtotals only

 
Comparison 4. Trial data

Outcome or subgroup titleNo. of studiesNo. of participantsStatistical methodEffect size

 1 Trial dataOther dataNo numeric data

 

Appendices

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
 

Appendix 1. Search methods for the original version of the review - January 2011

 

Electronic searches

We searched the following databases:

  • The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched 4 January 2012);
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4);
  • Ovid MEDLINE (1950 to December Week 3 2011);
  • Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, January 03, 2012);
  • Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2011 Week 52);
  • EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to 30 December 2011).

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) using the following exploded MeSH headings and keywords:

#1 MeSH descriptor Occlusive Dressings explode all trees
#2 MeSH descriptor Biological Dressings explode all trees
#3 MeSH descriptor Alginates explode all trees
#4 MeSH descriptor Hydrogels explode all trees
#5 MeSH descriptor Silver explode all trees
#6 MeSH descriptor Honey explode all trees
#7 (dressing* or alginate* or hydrogel* or "foam" or "bead" or "film" or "films" or tulle or gauze or non-adherent or "non adherent" or silver or honey or matrix):ti,ab,kw
#8 (#1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 OR #5 OR #6 OR #7)
#9 MeSH descriptor Foot Ulcer explode all trees
#10 MeSH descriptor Diabetic Foot explode all trees
#11 diabet* NEAR/3 ulcer*:ti,ab,kw
#12 diabet* NEAR/3 (foot or feet):ti,ab,kw
#13 diabet* NEAR/3 wound*:ti,ab,kw
#14 (#9 OR #10 OR #11 OR #12 OR #13)
#15 (#8 AND #14)

The search strategies used in Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL can be found in Appendix 1, Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 respectively. We combined the Ovid MEDLINE search with the Cochrane Highly Sensitive Search Strategy for identifying randomised trials in MEDLINE: sensitivity- and precision-maximising version (2008 revision). We also combined the EMBASE and CINAHL searches with the trial filters developed by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. There were no restrictions on the basis of date or language of publication.

We searched for on-going studies on the ISRCTN register (http://www.controlled-trials.com/isrctn/) (last searched 22nd May 2011).

 

Searching other resources

We attempted to contact researchers to obtain unpublished data when needed. We also searched the reference lists of the included studies and of previous systematic reviews. We contacted appropriate manufacturers (Smith & Nephew, Convatec Ltd, Mölnlycke Health Care, 3M Healthcare, Coloplast Ltd) for details of any unpublished studies.

 

Appendix 2. Ovid MEDLINE search strategy

1 exp Occlusive Dressings/
2 exp Biological Dressings/
3 exp Alginates/
4 exp Hydrogels/
5 exp Silver/
6 exp Honey/
7 (dressing* or hydrocolloid* or alginate* or hydrogel* or foam or bead or film*1 or tulle or gauze or non-adherent or non adherent or silver or honey or matrix).tw.
8 or/1-7
9 exp Foot Ulcer/
10 exp Diabetic Foot/
11 (diabet* adj3 ulcer*).tw.
12 (diabet* adj3 (foot or feet)).tw.
13 (diabet* adj3 wound*).tw.
14 or/9-13
15 8 and 14

 

Appendix 3. Ovid EMBASE search strategy

1 exp wound dressing/
2 exp alginic acid/
3 exp hydrogel/
4 exp SILVER/
5 exp HONEY/
6 (dressing* or hydrocolloid* or alginate* or hydrogel* or foam or bead or film*1 or tulle or gauze or non-adherent or non adherent or silver or honey or matrix).tw.
7 or/1-6
8 exp foot ulcer/
9 exp diabetic foot/
10 (diabet* adj3 ulcer*).tw.
11 (diabet* adj3 (foot or feet)).tw.
12 (diabet* adj3 wound*).tw.
13 or/8-12
14 7 and 13

 

Appendix 4. EBSCO CINAHL search strategy

S11 S4 and S10
S10 S5 or S6 or S7 or S8 or S9
S9 TI diabet* N3 wound* or AB diabet* N3 wound*
S8 TI (diabet* N3 foot OR diabet* N3 feet) or AB (diabet* N3 foot OR diabet* N3 feet)
S7 TI diabet* N3 ulcer* or AB diabet* N3 ulcer*
S6 (MH "Foot Ulcer+")
S5 (MH "Diabetic Foot")
S4 S1 or S2 or S3
S3 TI (dressing* or alginate* or hydrogel* or foam or bead or film or films or tulle or gauze or non-adherent or non adherent or honey or silver or matrix) or AB (dressing* or alginate* or hydrogel* or foam or bead or film or films or tulle or gauze or non-adherent or non adherent or honey or silver or matrix)
S2 (MH "Honey")
S1 (MH "Bandages and Dressings+")

 

Appendix 5. Risk of bias criteria

 

1.  Was the allocation sequence randomly generated?

 
Low risk of bias

The investigators describe a random component in the sequence generation process such as: referring to a random number table; using a computer random number generator; coin tossing; shuffling cards or envelopes; throwing dice; drawing of lots.

 
High risk of bias

The investigators describe a non-random component in the sequence generation process. Usually, the description would involve some systematic, non-random approach, for example: sequence generated by odd or even date of birth; sequence generated by some rule based on date (or day) of admission; sequence generated by some rule based on hospital or clinic record number.

 
Unclear

Insufficient information about the sequence generation process to permit judgement of low or high risk of bias.

 

2.  Was the treatment allocation adequately concealed?

 
Low risk of bias

Participants and investigators enrolling participants could not foresee assignment because one of the following, or an equivalent method, was used to conceal allocation: central allocation (including telephone, web-based and pharmacy-controlled randomisation); sequentially-numbered drug containers of identical appearance; sequentially-numbered, opaque, sealed envelopes.

 
High risk of bias

Participants or investigators enrolling participants could possibly foresee assignments and thus introduce selection bias, such as allocation based on: using an open random allocation schedule (e.g. a list of random numbers); assignment envelopes were used without appropriate safeguards (e.g. if envelopes were unsealed or non opaque or not sequentially numbered); alternation or rotation; date of birth; case record number; any other explicitly unconcealed procedure.

 
Unclear

Insufficient information to permit judgement of low or high risk of bias. This is usually the case if the method of concealment is not described or not described in sufficient detail to allow a definite judgement, for example if the use of assignment envelopes is described, but it remains unclear whether envelopes were sequentially numbered, opaque and sealed.

 

3.  Blinding - was knowledge of the allocated interventions adequately prevented during the study?

 
Low risk of bias

Any one of the following.

  • No blinding, but the review authors judge that the outcome and the outcome measurement are not likely to be influenced by lack of blinding.
  • Blinding of participants and key study personnel ensured, and unlikely that the blinding could have been broken.
  • Either participants or some key study personnel were not blinded, but outcome assessment was blinded and the non-blinding of others unlikely to introduce bias.

 
High risk of bias

Any one of the following.

  • No blinding or incomplete blinding, and the outcome or outcome measurement is likely to be influenced by lack of blinding.
  • Blinding of key study participants and personnel attempted, but likely that the blinding could have been broken.
  • Either participants or some key study personnel were not blinded, and the non-blinding of others likely to introduce bias.

 
Unclear

Any one of the following.

  • Insufficient information to permit judgement of low or high risk of bias.
  • The study did not address this outcome.

 

4. Were incomplete outcome data adequately addressed?

 
Low risk of bias

Any one of the following.

  • No missing outcome data.
  • Reasons for missing outcome data unlikely to be related to true outcome (for survival data, censoring unlikely to be introducing bias).
  • Missing outcome data balanced in numbers across intervention groups, with similar reasons for missing data across groups.
  • For dichotomous outcome data, the proportion of missing outcomes compared with observed event risk not enough to have a clinically relevant impact on the intervention effect estimate.
  • For continuous outcome data, plausible effect size (difference in means or standardised difference in means) among missing outcomes not enough to have a clinically relevant impact on observed effect size.
  • Missing data have been imputed using appropriate methods.

 
High risk of bias

Any one of the following.

  • Reason for missing outcome data likely to be related to true outcome, with either imbalance in numbers or reasons for missing data across intervention groups.
  • For dichotomous outcome data, the proportion of missing outcomes compared with observed event risk enough to induce clinically relevant bias in intervention effect estimate.
  • For continuous outcome data, plausible effect size (difference in means or standardised difference in means) among missing outcomes enough to induce clinically relevant bias in observed effect size.
  • ‘As-treated’ analysis done with substantial departure of the intervention received from that assigned at randomisation.
  • Potentially inappropriate application of simple imputation.

 
Unclear

Any one of the following.

  • Insufficient reporting of attrition/exclusions to permit judgement of low or high risk of bias (e.g. number randomised not stated, no reasons for missing data provided).
  • The study did not address this outcome.

 

5. Are reports of the study free of suggestion of selective outcome reporting?

 
Low risk of bias

Any of the following.

  • The study protocol is available and all of the study’s pre-specified (primary and secondary) outcomes that are of interest in the review have been reported in the pre-specified way.
  • The study protocol is not available but it is clear that the published reports include all expected outcomes, including those that were pre-specified (convincing text of this nature may be uncommon)

 
High risk of bias

Any one of the following.

  • Not all of the study’s pre-specified primary outcomes have been reported.
  • One or more primary outcomes is reported using measurements, analysis methods or subsets of the data (e.g. subscales) that were not pre-specified.
  • One or more reported primary outcomes were not pre-specified (unless clear justification for their reporting is provided, such as an unexpected adverse effect).
  • One or more outcomes of interest in the review are reported incompletely so that they cannot be entered in a meta-analysis.
  • The study report fails to include results for a key outcome that would be expected to have been reported for such a study.

 
Unclear

Insufficient information to permit judgement of low or high risk of bias. It is likely that the majority of studies will fall into this category.

 

6. Other sources of potential bias

 
Low risk of bias

The study appears to be free of other sources of bias.

 
High risk of bias

There is at least one important risk of bias. For example, the study:

  • had a potential source of bias related to the specific study design used; or
  • had extreme baseline imbalance; or
  • has been claimed to have been fraudulent; or
  • had some other problem.

 
Unclear

There may be a risk of bias, but there is either:

  • insufficient information to assess whether an important risk of bias exists; or
  • insufficient rationale or evidence that an identified problem will introduce bias.

 

What's new

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

Last assessed as up-to-date: 11 April 2013.


DateEventDescription

25 June 2013New citation required but conclusions have not changedFirst update, no change to conclusions.

25 June 2013New search has been performedNew search, no new studies identified.



 

Contributions of authors

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

Jo Dumville developed the review and co-ordinated its development, completed the first draft of the review, made an intellectual contribution, approved the final version prior to submission and is the guarantor of the review.
Sohan Deshpande completed the first draft of the review, made an intellectual contribution and approved the final version of the review prior to submission. 
Susan O’Meara edited the review, made an intellectual contribution and approved the final version of the review prior to submission.
Katharine Speak made an intellectual contribution to the review, advised on the review and approved the final version prior to submission.

 

Contributions of editorial base

Nicky Cullum: edited the review; advised on methodology, interpretation and content. Approved the final review prior to submission.
Sally Bell-Syer: co-ordinated the editorial process. Advised on methodology, interpretation and content. Edited and copy edited the review.
Ruth Foxlee: designed the search strategy, edited the search methods section and ran the searches.

 

Declarations of interest

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms

Susan O'Meara and Jo Dumville receive funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research funding programme. This review presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research funding programme (RP-PG-0407-10428). The views expressed in this presentation are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Sohan Deshpande and Katherine Speak have no interests to declare.

 

Sources of support

  1. Top of page
  2. Summary of findings    [Explanations]
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Index terms
 

Internal sources

  • Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK.

 

External sources

  • NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research, UK.
  • NIHR/Department of Health (England), Cochrane Wounds Group, UK.

* Indicates the major publication for the study

References

References to studies included in this review

  1. Top of page
  2. AbstractRésumé
  3. Summary of findings
  4. Background
  5. Objectives
  6. Methods
  7. Results
  8. Discussion
  9. Authors' conclusions
  10. Acknowledgements
  11. Data and analyses
  12. Appendices
  13. What's new
  14. Contributions of authors
  15. Declarations of interest
  16. Sources of support
  17. Characteristics of studies
  18. References to studies included in this review
  19. References to studies excluded from this review
  20. Additional references
Ahroni 1993 {published data only}
Baker 1993 {unpublished data only}
  • Baker NR, Creevy J. A randomised comparative pilot study to evaluate Allevyn hydrocellular dressings and Sorbsan calcium-alginate dressings in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Unpublished 1993.
Donaghue 1998 {published data only}
  • Donaghue VM, Chrzan JS, Rosenblum BI, Giurini JM, Habershaw GM, Veves A. Evaluation of a collagen-alginate wound dressing in the management of diabetic foot ulcers. Advances in Wound Care 1998;11(3):114-9.
Foster 1994 {published data only}
  • Foster AVM, Greenhill MT, Edmonds ME. Comparing two dressings in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Journal of Wound Care 1994;3(5):224-8.
Jude 2007 {published data only}
Lalau 2002 {published data only}
  • Lalau JD, Bresson R, Charpentier P, Coliche V, Erlher S, Ha Van G, et al. Efficacy and tolerance of calcium alginate versus Vaseline gauze dressings in the treatment of diabetic foot lesions. Diabetes and Metabolism 2002;28(3):223-9.

References to studies excluded from this review

  1. Top of page
  2. AbstractRésumé
  3. Summary of findings
  4. Background
  5. Objectives
  6. Methods
  7. Results
  8. Discussion
  9. Authors' conclusions
  10. Acknowledgements
  11. Data and analyses
  12. Appendices
  13. What's new
  14. Contributions of authors
  15. Declarations of interest
  16. Sources of support
  17. Characteristics of studies
  18. References to studies included in this review
  19. References to studies excluded from this review
  20. Additional references
Agas 2006 {published data only}
  • Agas CM, Bui TD, Driver VR, Gordon IL. Effect of window casts on healing rates of diabetic foot ulcers. Journal of Wound Care 2006;15(2):80-3.
Altman 1993 {published data only}
  • Altman MI, Mulder GD. Multi-centre evaluation of Nu-Gel wound dressing in full-thickness chronic wounds of the lower extremities. 3rd European Conference on Advances in Wound Management; 1993, 19-22 October; Harrogate, UK. 1993:164-5.
Alvarez 2003 {published data only}
  • Alvarez OM, Roger RS, Booker JG, Patel M. Effect of non contact normothermic wound therapy on the healing of neuropathic (diabetic) foot ulcers: An interim analysis of 20 patients. Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery 2003;42(1):30-5.
Apelqvist 1990 {published data only}
Apelqvist 1996 {published data only}
  • Apelqvist J, Ragnarson-Tennvall G. Cavity foot ulcers in diabetic patients: a comparative study of cadexomer iodine ointment and standard treatment. An economic analysis alongside a clinical trial. Acta Dermato-Venereologica 1996;76(3):321-5.
Apelqvist 2004 {published data only}
  • Apelqvist J, Piaggesi A. Enamel Matrix Protein in Diabetic Foot Ulcers, A Controlled Multicentre Study. 2nd World Union of Wound Healing Societies Meeting; 8-13 July 2004. 2004:8-13.
Armstrong 2004 {published data only}
  • Armstrong DG, Lavery LA, Frykberg RG, Andros G, Attinger CE, Boulton AJM. VAC Therapy appears to heal complex DFU. 2nd World Union of Wound Healing Societies Meeting; 8-13 July 2004. 2004:22.
Belcaro 2010 {published data only}
  • Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Errichi BM, Ricci A, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, et al. Venous and diabetic ulcerations: management with topical multivalent silver oxide ointment. Panminerva Medica  2010;52(2 (Suppl 1)):37-42.
Blackman 1994 {published data only}
  • Blackman JD, Senseng D, Quinn L, Mazzone T. Clinical evaluation of a semipermeable polymeric membrane dressing for the treatment of chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic Care 1994;17(4):322-5.
Bogaert 2004 {published data only}
  • Bogaert T, Meert S, Derre B, Goethals E. Topical autologous platelet gel enhances healing of chronic diabetic ulcer: Preliminary report. 2nd World Union of Wound Healing Societies Meeting; 8-13 July 2004. 2004:114.
Bradshaw 1989 {published data only}
  • Bradshaw T, Gem J, Boulton A. The use of Kaltostat in the treatment of ulceration in the diabetic foot. Chiropodist 1989;44(9):204-7.
Caravaggi 2003 {published data only}
  • Caravaggi C, De Giglio R, Pritelli C, Sommaria M, Dalla Noce S, Faglia E, et al. HYAFF 11-based autologous dermal and epidermal grafts in the treatment of noninfected diabetic plantar and dorsal foot ulcers: a prospective, multicenter, controlled,randomized clinical trial. Diabetes Care 2006;10:2853-9.
Chang 2000 {published data only}
  • Chang DW, Sanchez LA, Veith FJ, Wain RA, Okhi T, Suggs WD. Can a tissue-engineered skin graft improve healing of lower extremity foot wounds after revascularization?. Annals of Vascular Surgery 2000;14(1):44-9.
Chauhan 2003 {published data only}
  • Chauhan VS, Rasheed MA, Pandley SS, Shukla VK. Nonhealing wounds — a therapeutic dilemma. International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds 2003;2(1):40-5.
Chirwa 2010 {published and unpublished data}
  • Chirwa Z, Bhengu T, Litiane K. The cost effectiveness of using calcium alginate silver matrix in the treatment of wounds. EWMA Journal 2010;10(2):257, Abstract P299.
Clever 1996 {published data only}
  • Clever HU, Dreyer M. Comparing two wound dressings for the treatment of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Advances in Wound Management; 21-24 November, 1995; Harrogate, UK. 1996:201-3.
Cuevas 2007 {published data only}
  • Cuevas FR, Velázquez Méndez AA, Andrade IC. Zinc hyaluronate effects on ulcers in diabetic patients [Efecto delhialuronato de zinc sobre las úlceras en pacientes con diabetes]. Gerokomos 2007;18(2):91-105.
D'Hemecourt 1998 {published data only}
  • D'Hemecourt PA, Smiell JM, Karim MR. Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose aqueous-based gel vs becaplermin gel in patients with nonhealing lower extremity diabetic ulcers. Wounds 1998;10(3):69-75.
Dash 2009 {published data only}
  • Dash NR, Dash SN, Routray P, Mohapatra S, Mohapatra PC. Targeting nonhealing ulcers of lower extremity in human through autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Rejuvenation Research 2009;12(5):359-66.
Diehm 2005 {published data only}
  • Diehm C, Lawall H. Evaluation of Tielle hydro polymer dressings in the management of chronic exuding wounds in primary care. International Wound Journal 2005;2(1):26-35.
Driver 2006 {published data only}
  • Driver VR, Hanft J, Fylling CP, Beriou JM, and Autologel Diabetic Foot Ulcer Study Group. A prospective, randomized,controlled trial of autologous platelet-rich plasma gel for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Ostomy/Wound Management 2006;52(6):68-70, 72, 74.
Edmonds 2009 {published data only}
Eginton 2003 {published data only}
  • Eginton MT, Brown KR, Seabrook GR, Towne JB, Cambria RA. A prospective randomized evaluation of negative-pressure wound dressings for diabetic foot wounds. Annals of Vascular Surgery 2003;17(6):645-9.
Etoz 2003 {published data only}
  • Etoz A, Ozgenel Y, Ozcan M. The use of negative pressure wound therapy on diabetic foot ulcers: a preliminary controlled trial. Wounds: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice 2004;16(8):264-9.
Farac 1999 {published data only}
  • Farac KP, Grief R, Sessler DI. Radiant heat bandage speeds healing of diabetic-neuropathic foot ulcers. 31st Annual Wound, Ostomy and Continence Conference; 1999 June; Minneapolis, MN. 1999:488.
Foo 2004 {published data only}
  • Foo LSS, Chua BSY, Chia GT, Tan SB, Howe TS. Vacuum assisted closure vs moist gauze dressing in post-operative diabetic foot wounds: Early results from a randomised controlled trial. 2nd World Union of Wound Healing Societies Meeting; 2004 ,8-13 July; Paris. 2004:8-9.
Foster 1999 {published data only}
  • Foster A, Bates M, Doxford M, Edmonds ME. Treatment of indolent neuropathic ulceration of the diabetic foot with Hyaff. The Diabetic Foot 1999;2(2):72.
Gao 2007 {published data only}
  • Gao L, Xu GX, Zhou HB. Efficacy evaluation of diabetic foot ulceration treated with iodophors dressings therapy. Journal of Clinical Nursing 2007;6(4):21-2.
Gentzkow 1996 {published data only}
Gottrup 2011 {published data only}
  • Gottrup F, Gibson M, Karlsmark T, Bishoff-Mikkelsen M, Nisbet L, Cullen B. Collagen/ORC/silver treatment of diabetic foot ulcers; A randomised controlled trial. Wound Repair and Regeneration  2011;19(2):A24.
  • Gottrup F, Karlsmark T, Cullen B, Gibson M, Nisbet L. Comparative clinical study to determine the effects of collagen/orc+silver therapy on wound healing of diabetic foot ulcers. EWMA Journal 26-28 May 2010;10(2):83 Abstract 126.
Hanft 2002 {published data only}
  • Hanft JR, Surprenant MS. Healing of chronic foot ulcers in diabetic patients treated with a human fibroblast-derived dermis. Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery 2002;41(5):291.
Jeffcoate 2009 {published data only}
  • Jeffcoate WJ, Price PE, Phillips CJ, Game FL, Mudge E, Davies S, et al. Randomised controlled trial of the use of three dressing preparations in the management of chronic ulceration of the foot in diabetes. Health Technology Assessment 2009;13(54):1-110.
Jeffery 2008 {published data only}
  • Jeffery S. A honey-based dressing for diabetic foot ulcers: A controlled study. The Diabetic Foot Journal 2008;11(2):87-91.
Jensen 1998 {published data only}
  • Jensen JL, Seeley J, Brian Gillin. A controlled, randomized comparison of two moist wound healing protocols: Carrasyn hydrogel wound dressing and wet-to-moist saline gauze. Advances in Wound Care 1998;11(7 (Suppl)):1-4.
Kordestani 2008 {published data only}
  • Kordestani S, Shahrezaee M, Tahmasebi MN, Hajimahmodi H, Ghasemali DH, Abyaneh MS. A randomised controlled trial on the effectiveness of an advanced wound dressing used in Iran. Journal of Wound Care 2008;17(7):323-7.
Landsman 2010 {published data only}
  • Landsman A, Agnew P, Parish L, Joseph R, Galiano RD. Diabetic foot ulcers treated with becaplermin and TheraGauze, a moisture-controlling smart dressing: a randomized, multicenter, prospective analysis. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 2010;100(3):155-60.
Lazaro-Martinez 2007 {published data only}
  • Lázaro-Martínez JL, García-Moralesa E, Aragón-Sánchezc FJ. Randomized comparative trial of a collagen/oxidized regenerated cellulose dressing in the treatment of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. EWMA Journal. 2008; Vol. 8, issue 2 (Supp):Abstract no. P371.
  • Lázaro-Martínez JL, García-Moralesa E, Beneit-Montesinosa JV, Martínez-de-Jesúsb FR, Aragón-Sánchezc FJ. Randomized comparative trial of a collagen/oxidized regenerated cellulose dressing in the treatment of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers [Estudio aleatorizado y comparativo de unapósito de colágeno y celulosa oxidadaregenerada en el tratamiento de úlcerasneuropáticas de pie diabético]. Cirugia Espanola 2007;82(1):27-31.
Lipkin 2003 {published data only}
  • Lipkin S, Chaikof E, Isseroff Z, Silverstein P. Effectiveness of bilayered cellular matrix in healing of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers: results of a multicenter pilot trial. Wounds: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice 2003;15(7):230-6.
Markevich 2000 {published data only}
  • Markevich YO, McLeod-Roberts J, Mousley M, Melloy E. Maggot therapy for diabetic neuropathic foot wounds. Diabetologia. 2000; Vol. 43, issue Supp 11:A15.
Marston 2001 {published data only}
  • Marston W, Foushee K, Farber M. Prospective randomized study of a cryopreserved, human fibroblast-derived dermis in the treatment of chronic plantar foot ulcers associated with diabetes mellitus. 14th Annual Symposium on Advances in Wound Care and Medical Research Forum on Wound Repair; 2001 30 April - 3 May; Las Vegas, Nevada. 2001.
Mazzone 1993 {published data only}
  • Mazzone T, Blackman JD. Evaluation of a new loaded foam membrane on the healing rate of diabetic foot ulcers. 1st Joint Meeting of the Wound Healing Society and the European Tissue Repair Society; 1993, August; Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1993.
McCallon 2000 {published data only}
  • McCallon SK, Knight CA, Valiulus JP, Cunningham MW, McCulloch JM, Farinas LP. Vacuum-assisted closure versus saline-moistened gauze in the healing of postoperative diabetic foot wounds. Ostomy/Wound Management 2000;46(8):28-34.
Mody 2008 {published data only}
  • Mody GN, Nirmal IA, Duraisamy S, Perakath B. A blinded, prospective, randomized controlled trial of topical negative pressure wound closure in India. Ostomy/Wound Management 2008;54(12):36-46.
Moretti 2009 {published data only}
  • Moretti B, Notarnicola A, Maggio G, Moretti L, Pascone M, Tafuri S, et al. The management of neuropathic ulcers of the foot in diabetes by shock wave therapy. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2009; Vol. 10, issue 54. [DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-10-54]
Mueller 1989 {published data only}
Mulder 1994 {published data only}
  • Mulder GD, Jensen JL, Seeley JE, Peak Andrews K. A controlled randomized study of an amorphous hydrogel to expedite closure of diabetic ulcers. 4th European Tissue Repair Society Meeting; 1994, 25-28 August; Oxford, England. 1994:130.
Munter 2006 {published data only}
  • Munter KC, Beele H, Russell L, Basse E, Grochenig E, Crespi A, et al. The CONTOP study: improved healing of delayed healing ulcers with sustained silver-releasing foam dressing versus other silver dressings. 16th Conference of the European Wound Management Association; 2006, 18-20 May; Prague, Czech Republic. 2006:Abstract No.P068.
  • Munter KC, Beele H, Russell L, Basse PB, Groechenig E, Crespi A, et al. The CONTOP study: a large-scale,comparative, randomized study in patients treated with a sustained silver-releasing foam dressing. SAWC; 30 April-3 May 2006; San Antonio,Texas. 2006.
  • Munter KC, Beele H, Russell L, Crespi A, Grocenig E, Basse P, et al. Effect of a sustained silver-releasing dressing on ulcers with delayed healing:The CONTOP study. Journal of Wound Care 2006;15(5):199-205.
  • Russell L, Nebbioso G, Munter KC, Beele H, Basse PB. Dienst H. The Contop Study: A hydro-activated silver containing foam dressing versus standard care. 2nd World Union of Wound Healing Societies Meeting; 8–13 July 2004; Paris. 2004.
  • Scalise A, Forma O, Happe M, Hahn TW. The Contop study: real life experiences from an international study comparing a silver containing hydro-activated foam dressing with standard wound care. 13th Conference of the European Wound Management Association. Pisa, Italy, 22-23 May 2003.
Novinscak 2010 {published data only}
  • Novinscak T, Zvorc M, Trojko S, Jozinovic E, Filipovic M, Grudic R. Comparison of cost-benefit of the three methods of diabetic ulcer treatment: Dry, moist and negative pressure. Acta Medica Croatica  2010;64(Suppl. 1):113-5.
Ogce 2007 {published data only}
  • Ogce F, Dramali A. The treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Sendrom 2007;19(12):79-81.
Palao i Domenech 2008 {published data only}
  • Palao i Domenech R, Romanelli M, Tsiftsis DD, Slonkova V, Jortikka A, Johannesen N, et al. Effect of an ibuprofen-releasing foam dressing on wound pain: a real-life RCT. Journal of Wound Care 2008;17(8):342, 344-8.
Parish 2009 {published data only}
  • Parish L, Routh H, Parish J. Diabetic foot ulcers: A randomized multicenter study comparing a moisture-controlling dressing with a topical growth factor. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2009;60(Suppl 3):AB202.
Pham 1999 {published data only}
  • Pham HT, Rosenblum BI, Lyons TE, Giurini JM, Chrzan JS, Habershaw GM, et al. Evaluation of a human skin equivalent for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers in a prospective, randomized, clinical trial. Wounds: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice 1999;11(4):76-86.
Piaggesi 1997 {published data only}
  • Piaggesi A. A thin hydrocolloid occlusive dressing in diabetic foot ulcerations. Journal of Wound Care 1997;6(3):10.
Piaggesi 2001 {published data only}
Reyzelman 2009 {published data only}
  • Reyzelman A, Crews RT, Moore JC, Moore L, Mukker JS, Offutt S, et al. Clinical effectiveness of an acellular dermal regenerative tissue matrix compared to standard wound management in healing diabetic foot ulcers: a prospective, randomised, multicentre study. International Wound Journal 2009;6(3):196-208.
Roberts 2001 {published data only}
  • Roberts GH, Hammad LH, Haggan G, Baker N, Sandeman D, Mani R, et al. Hydrocellular against non-adherent dressings to treat diabetic foot ulcers- A randomised controlled study. 11th ETRS Annual Conference. 2001.
Robson 2005 {published data only}
  • Robson MC, Payne WG, Garner WL, Biundo J, Giacalone VF, Cooper DM, et al. Integrating the results of phase IV (post marketing) clinical trial with four previous trials reinforces the position that Regranex (Becaplermin) Gel 0.01% is an effective adjunct to the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Journal of Applied Research 2005;5(1):35-45.
Robson 2009 {published data only}
  • Robson V, Dodd S, Thomas S. Standardized antibacterial honey (Medihoney) with standard therapy in wound care: randomized clinical trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing  2009 ;65 ():565-75.
Sabolinski 2000 {published data only}
  • Sabolinski M, Giovino K, and Graftskin Diabetic Foot Ulcer Study Group. Risk factors associated with the healing of diabetic foot ulcers. Wound Healing Society Educational Symposium. Toronto, Canada, 2000, 4-6 June.
  • Sabolinski M, Toole T, Giovino K, and Apligraft Diabetic Foot Ulcer Study Group. Apligraf (Graftskin) bilayered living skin construct in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. First World Wound Healing Congress. Melbourne, Australia, 2000, 10-13 September.
  • Sabolinski ML, Veves A. Graftskin (Apligraf) in neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. Wounds: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice 2000;12(5):Suppl A 33A-6A.
  • Sabolinski ML, Veves A. Graftskin bilayered living skin construct in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. 13th Annual Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and 10th Annual Medical Research Forum on Wound Repair. Dallas,USA, 1-4 April 2000.
  • Veves A, Falango V, Armstrong DG, Sabolinski ML. Graftskin (Apligraf) a human skin equivalent, promotes wound healing in diabetic foot ulcers in a prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial. Tenth Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society. Brussels, Belgium, 24–27 May 2000.
Sabolinski 2001 {published data only}
  • Sabolinski M, Falanga V. The healing of diabetic plantar foot ulcers of greater than two-month duration with Graftskin in a randomized prospective study. Eleventh Annual Meeting and Educational Symposuim Wound Healing Society. Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2001, 16-18 May.
Shaw 2010 {published data only}
  • Shaw J, Hughes CM, Lagan KM, Stevenson MR, Irwin CR, Bell PM. The effect of topical phenytoin on healing in diabetic foot ulcers: a randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia 2010;53(Suppl 1):S463.
Shukrimi 2008 {published data only}
  • Shukrimi A, Sulaiman AR, Halim AY, Azril A. A comparative study between honey and povidone iodine as dressing solution for Wagner type II diabetic foot ulcers. Medical Journal of Malaysia 2008;63(1):44-6.
Sibbald 2011 {published data only}
  • Sibbald RG, Coutts P, Woo KY. Reduction of bacterial burden and pain in chronic wounds using a new polyhexamethylene biguanide antimicrobial foam dressing-clinical trial results. Advances in Skin and Wound Care  2011 ;24 ():78-84.
Solway 2011 {published data only}
Steed 1992 {published data only}
  • Holloway GA, Steed DL, DeMarco MJ, Matsumoto T, Moosa HH, Webster MW, et al. A randomized controlled multicenter dose response trial of activated platelet supernatant topical CT-102 in chronic nonhealing diabetic wounds. Wounds: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice 1993;5(4):198-206.
  • Steed DL. Growth factors in managing diabetic foot ulcers. 5th Annual Symposium on Advanced Wound Care. New Orleans, Lousiana, 23-25 April, 1992.
  • Steed DL, Goslen JB, Holloway GA, Malone JM, Bunt TJ, Webster MW. Randomized prospective double-blind trial in healing chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic Care 1992;15(11):1598-1604.
Steed 1995 {published data only}
  • Steed DL, Ricotta JJ, Prendergast JJ, Kaplan RJ, Webstar MW, McGill JB. Promotion and acceleration of diabetic ulcer healing by arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide matrix. RGD Study Group. Diabetes care 1995;18(1):39-46.
Steed 1996 {published data only}
  • Steed DL, Edington HD, Webster MW. Recurrence rate of diabetic neurotrophic foot ulcers healed using topical application of growth factors released from platelets. Wound Repair and Regeneration 1996;4(2):230-3.
    Direct Link:
Subrahmanyam 1993 {published data only}
  • Subrahmanyam M. Honey as a surgical dressing for burns and ulcers. Indian Journal of Surgery 1993;55(9):468-73.
Teot 2008 {published data only}
  • Teot L, Trial C, Lavigne JP. Results of RCT on the antimicrobial effectiveness of a new silver alginate wound dressing. EWMA Journal 2008;8(Supp 2):54 Abstract no. 69.
Trial 2010 {published data only}
  • Trial C, Darbas H, Lavigne J. Assessment of the antimicrobial effectiveness of a new silver alginate wound dressing: a RCT. Journal of Wound Care 2010;19(1):20-6.
Turns 2012 {published data only}
  • Turns M. Evaluation of NOSF in neuropathic diabetic. Wounds UK 2012;8(1):100-106.
Urbaneie 1999 {published data only}
  • Urbaneie-Rovan V. Efficacy and cost of different dressings. Practical Diabetes International 1999;16(2):S3.
Vandeputte 1997 {published data only}
  • Vandeputte J, Gryson L. Clinical trial on the control of diabetic foot infection by an immunomodulating hydrogel containing 65% glycerine. Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Advances in Wound Management. Harrogate, UK, 1995, 21–24 November.
  • Vandeputte J, Gryson L. Diabetic foot infection controlled by immuno-modulating hydrogel containing 65% glycerine. Presentation of a clinical trial. Personal Communication 1996.
Varma 2006 {published data only}
  • Varma AK, Bal A, Kumar H, Kesav R, Nair S. Efficacy of polyurethane foam dressing in debrided diabetic lower limb wounds. Wounds: A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice 2006;18(10):300-6.
Veves 2001 {published data only}
Veves 2002 {published data only}
  • Sheehan P, Jones P,   Caselli A, Giurini JM, Veves A. Percent change in wound area of diabetic foot ulcers over a 4-week period is a robust predictor of complete healing in a 12-week prospective trial. Diabetes Care  2003;26:1879-82.
  • Veves A. Promogran clinical trial. The Diabetic Foot  2001;4(4):S4-S5.
  • Veves A. Wound care device expert meeting. Summary report. Promogran - Clinical trial data. The Diabetic Foot  2001;4(3):S8-S10.
  • Veves A, Sheehan P, Pham HT. A randomized controlled trial of Promogran (a collagen/oxidised regenerated cellulose dressing) vs standard treatment in the management of diabetic foot ulcers. Archives of Surgery 2002;137:822-7.
Whalley 2001 {published data only}
  • Capillas R, Whalley A, Boulton AMJ, Dargis V, Harding K, Van Acker K. Performance characteristics and safety of hydrogels using a non-adhesive foam dressing as secondary dressing in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. 12th Conference of the European Wound Management Association;2002, 23-25 May; Granada, Spain. 2002:261.
  • Whalley A, Boulton AJM, Dargis V, Harding K, Van Acker K, Capillas R. Characteristics of the efficacy and safety of a hydrogen using a hydropolymer as the secondary dressing in the treatment of ulcers of the diabetic foot. 12th Conference of the European Wound Management Association;2002, 23-25 May; Granada, Spain. 2002:322.
  • Whalley A, Boulton AJM, Dargis V, Harding K, Van Acker K, Capillas R. Performance characteristics and safety of Purilon gel versus Intrasite using Biatain non-adhesive dressing as secondary dressing in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. 11th European Tissue Repair Society Annual Conference; 2001 5-8 September; Cardiff, Wales. 2001:49.
Woo 2010 {published data only}
  • Woo K, Sibbald G, Coutts P. Reduction of infection and pain in chronic wounds using a new antimicrobial foam dressing. EWMA Journal 2010;10(2):59 Abstract 78.
Yao 2007 {published data only}
  • Yao XZ, Chen W. Effectiveness of feet soaking with Chinese herbs combined with changing dressings in the treatment of diabetic foot ulceration. Journal of Nursing Science 2007;22(5):42-3.
Zimny 2003 {published data only}

Additional references

  1. Top of page
  2. AbstractRésumé
  3. Summary of findings
  4. Background
  5. Objectives
  6. Methods
  7. Results
  8. Discussion
  9. Authors' conclusions
  10. Acknowledgements
  11. Data and analyses
  12. Appendices
  13. What's new
  14. Contributions of authors
  15. Declarations of interest
  16. Sources of support
  17. Characteristics of studies
  18. References to studies included in this review
  19. References to studies excluded from this review
  20. Additional references
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