Introduction: Approximately 15% (more than 2 million individuals, based on these estimates) of all people with diabetes will develop a lower-extremity ulcer during the course of the disease. Ultimately, between 14% and 20% of patients with lower-extremity diabetic ulcers will require amputation of the affected limb. Analysis of the 1995 Medicare claims revealed that lower-extremity ulcer care accounted for $1.45 billion in Medicare costs. Therapies that promote rapid and complete healing and reduce the need for expensive surgical procedures would impact these costs substantially. One such example is the electrotherapeutic modality utilizing the H-Wave(R) device therapy and program.It has been recently shown in acute animal experiments that the H-Wave(R) device stimulation induces a nitric oxide-dependent increase in microcirculation of the rat Cremaster skeletal muscle. Moreover, chronic H-wave(R) device stimulation of rat hind limbs not only increases blood flow but induces measured angiogenesis. Coupling these findings strongly suggests that H-Wave(R) device stimulation promotes rapid and complete healing without need of expensive surgical procedures.
Case presentation: We decided to do a preliminary evaluation of the H-Wave(R) device therapy and program in three seriously afflicted diabetic patients. Patient 1 had chronic venous stasis for 6 years. Patient 2 had chronic recurrent leg ulcerations. Patient 3 had a chronic venous stasis ulcer for 2 years. All were dispensed a home H-Wave(R) unit. Patient 1 had no other treatment, patient 2 had H-Wave(R) therapy along with traditional compressive therapy, and patient 3 had no other therapy.For patient 1, following treatment the ulcer completely healed with the H-Wave(R) device and program after 3 months. For patient 2, by one month complete ulcer closure occurred. Patient 3 had a completely healed ulcer after 9 months.
Conclusions: While most diabetic ulcers can be treated successfully on an outpatient basis, a significant proportion will persist and become infected. Based on this preliminary case series investigation we found that three patients prescribed H-Wave(R) home treatment demonstrate accelerated healing with excellent results. While these results are encouraging, additional large scale investigation is warranted before any interpretation is given to these interesting outcomes.