A single-blind, randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate vacuum-compression therapy (VCT) for the healing of diabetic foot ulcers. Eighteen diabetic patients with foot ulcers were recruited through simple nonprobability sampling. Subjects were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group. Before and after intervention, the foot ulcer surface area was estimated stereologically, based on Cavalieri's principle. The experimental group was treated with VCT in addition to conventional therapy for 10 sessions. The control group received only conventional therapy, including debridement, blood glucose control agents, systemic antibiotics, wound cleaning with normal saline, offloading (pressure relief), and daily wound dressings. The mean foot ulcer surface area decreased from 46.88 +/- 9.28 mm(2) to 35.09 +/- 4.09 mm(2) in the experimental group (p = 0.006) and from 46.62 +/- 10.03 mm(2) to 42.89 +/- 8.1 mm(2) in the control group (p = 0.01). After treatment, the experimental group significantly improved in measures of foot ulcer surface area compared with the control group (p = 0.024). VCT enhances diabetic foot ulcer healing when combined with appropriate wound care.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00477022.