Fifteen patients with enterocutaneous fistulas (ECFs) not amenable to surgical treatment were treated with negative-pressure dressings over the abdominal wound and ECF. Closure of the ECF and time to closure were examined. In 11 patients who had no visible intestinal mucosa on examination, the closure rate was 100%, with a mean time to closure of 14 days. In 4 patients who did have grossly visible intestinal mucosa, no closure occurred. This represents an overall closure rate of 73%. Fistula output rate did not have a significant effect on outcome. These results confirm the efficacy of negative-pressure dressings in the closure of ECFs. Presence or absence of visible intestinal mucosa is the single most important clinical factor when considering the use of a negative-pressure dressing in the management of a patient with ECF.