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Combination of activated protein C and topical negative pressure rapidly regenerates granulation tissue over exposed bone to heal recalcitrant orthopedic wounds.

Author(s): Wijewardena A, Vandervord E, Lajevardi SS, Vandervord J, Jackson CJ.

Affiliation(s): Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Publication date & source: 2011, Int J Low Extrem Wounds. , 10(3):146-51

Chronic wounds arising from orthopedic surgery present a major clinical challenge. Osteomyelitis may develop from polymicrobial infection, which can be unresponsive to treatment and lead to amputation. Topical negative pressure (TNP) is an effective treatment in wound management and is now used worldwide. Activated protein C (APC) is an anticoagulant with cytoprotective and healing properties. The aim of this study was to determine whether combined treatment of TNP and APC was tolerated and was efficacious for treatment of difficult-to-treat wounds. Four patients who presented to Royal North Shore Hospital with wounds that were not responsive to conventional therapy were studied. All cases showed a marked reduction in wound size and depth within 1 week of starting treatment and progressively improved over time. There was a remarkable increase in the volume of granulation tissue. After treatment, wounds either completely closed or provided sufficient granulation tissue to allow split-thickness skin grafting. The treatment was well tolerated, and the patients were able to be managed on out-patient basis. Long-term follow-up suggested that this treatment prevented osteomyelitis. This innovative treatment is very promising and may significantly increase quality of care for patients with recalcitrant orthopedic wounds. A randomized, placebo-controlled double blind trial is required to further determine the efficacy of APC plus TNP.

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