Efficacy and Safety of a Hyaluronic Acid-Containing Gauze Pad in the Treatment of Chronic Venous or Mixed-Origin Leg Ulcers: A Prospective, Multicenter, Randomized Controlled Trial

Wounds. 2021 Jun;33(6):147-157. Epub 2021 Apr 7.


Introduction: Hyaluronic acid (HA)-containing formulations routinely are utilized along with standard therapy to promote faster healing of chronic wounds; evidence to guide clinical decisions on the use of topical HA in the healing of vascular leg ulcers is limited.

Objective: This study compared the efficacy and safety of an HA-impregnated gauze pad with an identical gauze pad without HA in the treatment of chronic leg ulcers of vascular origin.

Materials and methods: A prospective, multicenter, multinational, parallel-group, randomized, double-blind, clinical study was conducted between June 13, 2017, and December 31, 2018. Adults with 1 or more chronic leg ulcers of venous or mixed origin between 2 months and 4 years' duration were eligible to participate. Participants were randomized to treatment consisting of standard care (ie, ulcer cleansing, debridement/anesthesia as necessary, and optimized compression) and either application of a gauze pad containing 0.05% HA or a neutral comparator once daily for a maximum of 20 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was complete ulcer healing (100% reepithelialization of the wound area centrally assessed by 1 independent and experienced assessor blinded with respect to the treatment applied, as shown on digital photographs taken under standardized conditions at or before 20 weeks and confirmed 3 weeks later). Secondary efficacy endpoints included the percentage of completely healed target ulcers, residual area of target ulcer relative to baseline, the condition of the periulcerous skin, the total amount of analgesics used, the incidence of infection at the ulcer site of the target ulcer, patient adherence to treatment, time to achieve complete healing as centrally assessed, and pain intensity as measured by a visual analog scale.

Results: Among the 168 participants (82 in the HA gauze pad group and 86 in the neutral gauze pad group), 33 (39.8%) in the HA group experienced complete healing of the target ulcer, which was significantly higher than the neutral comparator group (15, 18.5%; P = .002). Results in the full analysis and per-protocol sets were consistent with the primary results; no significant difference was noted in outcomes when participants' wounds were stratified according to baseline ulcer size.

Conclusions: HA delivered in a gauze pad formulation could be a beneficial treatment for chronic leg ulcers of venous or mixed origin.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bandages
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Leg Ulcer* / drug therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Varicose Ulcer* / drug therapy


  • Hyaluronic Acid