Topical treatment of chronic venous ulcers with sucralfate: a placebo controlled randomized study

Int J Mol Med. 2008 Jul;22(1):17-23.


Venous leg ulcers are an important medical issue due to their high incidence in the elderly and the lack of a standard curative approach. Apart from surgical therapy, different medical treatments to effect ulcer wound repair and regeneration are currently being investigated. Sucralfate is a cytoprotective agent employed to prevent or treat several gastrointestinal diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux, gastritis, peptic ulcer, stress ulcer and dyspepsia. In this study we evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of topical sucralfate (SUC-LIS 95) on the healing of chronic venous leg ulcers in 50 patients by a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study. Our results indicated that the daily application of SUC-LIS 95 to non-infected post-phlebitis/vascular ulcers, for a median period of 42.0 days, led to complete healing in 95.6% of patients, against only 10.9% of cases with a matched placebo. A significant improvement was obtained in the SUC-LIS 95-treated patient group with regard to local tissue inflammation as well as pain and burning, and consequently, in ulcer size and the evolution of granulation tissue. Our findings were corroborated for selected patients by the morphological analysis of biopsies obtained before and after treatment. Using ultrastructural analysis we demonstrated that the topical use of SUC-LIS 95 was able to affect neoangiogenesis, increase wound contraction, promote re-epithelialization of the wound area and diminish the inflammatory reaction. Overall, our results indicated that patients with chronic venous ulcers show improvement after the use of topical sucralfate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Sucralfate / administration & dosage*
  • Sucralfate / pharmacology
  • Sucralfate / therapeutic use*
  • Varicose Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Varicose Ulcer / pathology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Placebos
  • Sucralfate