Objective: To evaluate the utility of a semipermeable polymeric membrane dressing for the treatment of chronic diabetic foot ulcers.
Research design and methods: Nineteen subjects with either insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and foot ulcers were randomly assigned to the polymeric dressing or conventional wet-to-dry saline dressings. Subjects had foot ulcer site measurements performed every 3 weeks. The subjects using conventional therapy were allowed to cross over to polymeric dressing after 2 months.
Results: At the end of 2 months, in the patients using the polymeric dressing, ulcer size was reduced to 35 +/- 16% of baseline. The patients on conventional therapy had an ulcer size of 105 +/- 28% of baseline (P < 0.03, polymeric vs. conventional). Patients initially treated with wet-to-dry saline were crossed over into the polymeric membrane treatment and demonstrated a decrease to 35 +/- 11% of baseline size (p < 0.02) after an additional 2 months.
Conclusions: The semipermeable polymeric membrane dressing is a useful therapeutic option for treating uncomplicated chronic diabetic foot ulcers.