A Single-center, Retrospective Study of Cryopreserved Umbilical Cord for Wound Healing in Patients Suffering From Chronic Wounds of the Foot and Ankle

Wounds. 2016 Jul;28(7):217-25.


Objective: Chronic wounds are a significant issue not only in wound care facilities, but also in daily practice for general practitioners and specialists across a wide variety of disciplines. These wounds are primarily foot or lower extremity ulcers and can result from a combination of factors including neuropathy, vascular insufficiency, and impaired wound healing. In addition to a significant health care cost, ulcerations have a devastating impact on virtually every aspect of the affected patient's daily life such as extensive pain, sleep impairment, restricted mobility, and work capacity. The objective of this single-center, retrospective study was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of a human cryopreserved umbilical cord (cUC) allograft as an advanced therapeutic treatment modality for chronic, nonhealing lower extremity wounds.

Materials and methods: Following Institutional Review Board approval, data from all qualifying patients who had received cUC tissue treatment during a period of 16 months was collected retrospectively. A total of 57 patients presenting with 64 chronic wounds who received treatment with cUC and were treated by the same surgeon at a single wound care center were analyzed.

Results: The average initial wound area was 6.85 cm2 ± 16.29 cm2. Overall, 51 of 64 wounds achieved complete healing, resulting in an overall wound-healing rate of 79.7%. For wounds that healed, the average wound-healing time was 5.53 ± 3.93 weeks, and an average of 3.43 ± 2.42 applications of cUC were used to achieve healing.

Conclusion: Overall, these results demonstrate cUC may be effective in promoting the healing of chronic, lower extremity ulcers. In addition, this study suggests cUC may be a useful advanced tissue treatment modality with the potential not only to improve patient quality of life, but also positively impact rising health care costs associated with long-term treatment of such ulcers. Further exploration, including prospective, randomized controlled trials, is warranted to better understand the effectiveness of cUC.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation / trends*
  • Cryopreservation / methods
  • Cryopreservation / trends*
  • Debridement / methods
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Foot Ulcer / pathology
  • Foot Ulcer / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Regenerative Medicine* / methods
  • Regenerative Medicine* / trends
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology*
  • Varicose Ulcer / pathology
  • Varicose Ulcer / therapy*
  • Wound Healing