Leech therapy for linear incisional skin-wound healing in rats

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Aug;7(4):194-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 25.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of leech therapy (LT), in comparison with topical phenytoin (PHT), on incisional skin-wound healing in animal models.

Methods: This experimental study included 15 male rats (5 animals in 3 groups) with approximately equal body weights (350 ± 10 g). Skin wounds with lengths of 20 mm and depths of 0.5 mm were made on the dorsolateral region of rats 4 cm from the spine. The first group (PHT group) was treated daily with topical PHT (1%) while the second group (LT group) received LT at the beginning of the experiment. The control group received neither the drug nor the therapy. Wound healing was evaluated every day, and the study was continued until the wound had completely healed. Changes in the areas and the appearances of the skin wounds and histological differences (at the end of the experiment) were used to investigate the differences in wound healing among the groups.

Results: The process of wound healing was significantly faster in the group treated with LT (p < 0.05) than in the group treated with the PHT.

Conclusion: The study results showed that LT improved incisional skin-wound healing in rats.

Keywords: leech therapy; phenytoin; rat; skin wound.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Leeches*
  • Leeching*
  • Male
  • Phenytoin / pharmacology
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skin* / drug effects
  • Skin* / injuries
  • Wound Healing*


  • Phenytoin