Background: Chronic foot ulceration is a major source of morbidity in diabetic patients. Despite traditional comprehensive wound management, including vascular reconstruction, there remains a cohort of patients with non-responding wounds, often resulting in amputation. These wounds may benefit from molecular manipulation of growth factors to enhance the microcirculation.
Methods: A review of the current literature was performed using Pubmed, with secondary references obtained from key articles.
Results and conclusion: There has been a generally disappointing clinical outcome from growth factor trials, although topical platelet-derived growth factor has shown significant benefit and should be considered in non-healing, well perfused ulcers after failure of conventional wound care. The modulatory role of the extracellular matrix in the cellular response to growth factors and data from regenerative-type fetal wound healing are further areas of interest. The chemical induction of microvessel formation may become a future therapeutic option.