Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy promotes healing and microcirculation of chronic diabetic foot ulcers: a pilot study

Adv Skin Wound Care. 2015 May;28(5):212-9. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000462012.58911.53.


Objective: To examine the effects of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy on promoting the healing and microcirculation of chronic diabetic foot ulcers.

Design: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on a homogenous subset of chronic diabetic foot ulcers.

Setting: Hospital and university.

Patients: Thirteen subjects (7 in the PEMF group and 6 in the control group) diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had unsatisfactory healing of ulcer(s) in the preceding 4 weeks were recruited.

Interventions: Subjects were randomly allocated to receive either active PEMF therapy (duration: 60 minutes; frequency: 12 Hz; intensity: 12 Gauss) or nonactive PEMF for 14 sessions within 3 weeks.

Main outcome measures: Assessment on wound closure, wound depth, and microcirculation were performed at the baseline, end of the treatment period, and 1-month follow-up.

Main results: By the end of the treatment period, there was an 18% decrease in wound size in the active PEMF group as compared with a 10% decrease in the control group. The PEMF group demonstrated significant cumulative increase in cutaneous capillary blood velocity (by 28%) and 14% increase in capillary diameter. In contrast, the control group showed a decrease in both capillary blood velocity and diameter.

Conclusion: In this study, PEMF therapy seemed to accelerate wound healing and improve microcirculation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Microcirculation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing*