Maggot debridement therapy: free-range or contained? An in-vivo study

Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 Oct;18(8):430-5. doi: 10.1097/00129334-200510000-00010.


Objective: To determine which method of maggot debridement therapy--free-range or contained--is more effective for wound healing.

Methods: In vivo study of 64 patients with 69 chronic wounds that showed signs of gangrenous or necrotic tissue. Patients were treated with either free-range or contained maggot debridement therapy according to maggot availability, dressing difficulty, and physician preference.

Results: Significantly better outcomes were achieved with the free-range technique versus the contained technique (P = .028). With the free-range technique, the mean number of maggot applications and the total number of maggots per treatment were significantly lower than with the contained application technique (P = .028 and P < .001, respectively).

Conclusion: This clinical in vivo study supports in vitro studies in which containment of maggots was found to reduce the effectiveness of maggot debridement therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larva*
  • Male
  • Necrosis / therapy
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*