Evaluation of wound care and health-care use costs in patients with diabetic foot ulcers treated with negative pressure wound therapy versus advanced moist wound therapy

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2014 Mar;104(2):147-53. doi: 10.7547/0003-0538-104.2.147.


Background: We conducted a post-hoc retrospective analysis of patients enrolled in a randomized controlled trial to evaluate overall costs of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT; V.A.C. Therapy; KCI USA, Inc, San Antonio, Texas) versus advanced moist wound therapy (AMWT) in treating grade 2 and 3 diabetic foot wounds during a 12-week therapy course.

Methods: Data from two study arms (NPWT [n = 169] or AMWT [n = 166]) originating from Protocol VAC2001-08 were collected from patient records and used as the basis of the calculations performed in our cost analysis.

Results: A total of 324 patient records (NPWT = 162; AMWT = 162) were analyzed. There was a median wound area reduction of 85.0% from baseline in patients treated with NPWT compared to a 61.8% reduction in those treated with AMWT. The total cost for all patients, regardless of closure, was $1,941,472.07 in the NPWT group compared to $2,196,315.86 in the AMWT group. In patients who achieved complete wound closure, the mean cost per patient in the NPWT group was $10,172 compared to $9,505 in the AMWT group; the median cost per 1 cm(2) of closure was $1,227 with NPWT and $1,695 with AMWT. In patients who did not achieve complete wound closure, the mean total wound care cost per patient in the NPWT group was $13,262, compared to $15,069 in the AMWT group. The median cost to close 1 cm(2) in wounds that didn't heal using NPWT was $1,633, compared to $2,927 with AMWT.

Conclusions: Our results show greater cost effectiveness with NPWT versus AMWT in recalcitrant wounds that didn't close during a 12-week period, due to lower expenditures on procedures and use of health-care resources.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetic Foot / economics
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy / economics*
  • Wound Healing