Quantitative and objective evaluation of wound debriding properties of collagenase and fibrinolysin/desoxyribonuclease in a necrotic ulcer animal model

Arch Dermatol Res. 1998 Mar;290(3):152-7. doi: 10.1007/s004030050281.


Proteolytic enzymes have been used for wound debridement for many years. The two enzymes most widely used in Europe are fibrinolysin/desoxyribonuclease and collagenase. Despite their frequent use, very few placebo-controlled studies comparing the enzymes with vehiculum only, or with each other, are available. In a specially developed necrotic ulcer animal model, combined with a computer image analysis technique to measure necrotic and total wound surface areas quantitatively, we assessed the wound-cleansing properties of fibrinolysin/DNase oleogel, collagenase ointment, saline-soaked gauze control treatment, and new galenic formulations of collagenase, including placebos. The average relative area of necrotic tissue present in the wound after 1 week was 31% for collagenase ointment and 56% for fibrinolysin/DNAse oleogel (P = 0.0037). Collagenase gel was significantly (P = 0.0007) better in removing necrosis than placebo (gel only). Fibrinolysin/DNAse was not significantly more effective than the three placebo or control treatments (placebo film, placebo gel, saline-soaked gauzes). We conclude that collagenase is a suitable enzyme for wound debridement, but we were not able to detect clinical efficacy of fibrinolysin/DNAse in this model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagenases / administration & dosage
  • Collagenases / therapeutic use*
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Deoxyribonucleases / administration & dosage
  • Deoxyribonucleases / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysin / administration & dosage
  • Fibrinolysin / therapeutic use*
  • Necrosis
  • Skin Ulcer / pathology
  • Skin Ulcer / therapy*
  • Swine
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Deoxyribonucleases
  • Fibrinolysin
  • Collagenases