Healing pressure ulcers with collagen or hydrocolloid: a randomized, controlled trial

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Feb;51(2):147-54. doi: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2003.51051.x.


Objectives: To compare the effects of topical collagen and hydrocolloid on pressure ulcer healing.

Design: Randomized (allocation concealed), single-blind (outcome assessors), controlled trial with 8-week follow-up.

Setting: Eleven nursing homes in central Illinois.

Participants: Sixty-five patient-residents with Stage II or III pressure ulcers: median age 83.1, median Braden score 12, 63% female, 80% Stage II ulcers, and 20% Stage III ulcers. Exclusion criteria included cellulitis and osteomyelitis.

Intervention: Thirty-five patients were allocated to topical collagen daily, 30 to topical hydrocolloid twice weekly.

Measurements: The primary outcome was complete healing within 8 weeks. Secondary outcomes were time to heal, ulcer area healed per day, linear healing of wound edge, and cost of therapy.

Results: Analysis by intention to treat revealed similar complete ulcer healing within 8 weeks in collagen (51%) and hydrocolloid (50%) recipients (difference 1%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 26-29%). Mean healing time was similar: collagen healed in 5 weeks (95% CI = 4-6), hydrocolloid healed in 6 weeks (95% CI = 5-7). Mean area healed per day was 6 mm(2)/d in both treatment groups. Mean linear healing of the wound edge was 3 mm in both groups. In multivariate analysis, baseline ulcer depth was the only independent predictor of complete ulcer healing within 8 weeks (odds ratio = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.38-0.81). Cost analysis favored hydrocolloid.

Conclusions: There were no significant differences in healing outcome between collagen and hydrocolloid. Collagen was more expensive and offered no major benefits to patients otherwise eligible for hydrocolloid treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Collagen / economics
  • Collagen / therapeutic use*
  • Colloids / economics
  • Colloids / therapeutic use*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pressure Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Pressure Ulcer / economics
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Colloids
  • Collagen