Maggot therapy in "lower-extremity hospice" wound care: fewer amputations and more antibiotic-free days

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2005 May-Jun;95(3):254-7. doi: 10.7547/0950254.


We sought to assess, in a case-control model, the potential efficacy of maggot debridement therapy in 60 nonambulatory patients (mean +/- SD age, 72.2 +/- 6.8 years) with neuroischemic diabetic foot wounds (University of Texas grade C or D wounds below the malleoli) and peripheral vascular disease. Twenty-seven of these patients (45%) healed during 6 months of review. There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients healing in the maggot debridement therapy versus control group (57% versus 33%). Of patients who healed, time to healing was significantly shorter in the maggot therapy than in the control group (18.5 +/- 4.8 versus 22.4 +/- 4.4 weeks). Approximately one in five patients (22%) underwent a high-level (above-the-foot) amputation. Patients in the control group were three times as likely to undergo amputation (33% versus 10%). Although there was no significant difference in infection prevalence in patients undergoing maggot therapy versus controls (80% versus 60%), there were significantly more antibiotic-free days during follow-up in patients who received maggot therapy (126.8 +/- 30.3 versus 81.9 +/- 42.1 days). Maggot debridement therapy reduces short-term morbidity in nonambulatory patients with diabetic foot wounds.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Debridement / methods
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Larva*
  • Treatment Outcome