The study investigated whether the effects of dermal replacement therapy on wound healing are associated with an increase in blood flow at the base of diabetic foot ulcers treated with Dermagraft. Seven full-thickness ulcers were assessed in five patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy. All lesions had been present for at least 3 months with no recent change in size, despite routine foot care and protective dressings. Dermal replacement therapy was applied weekly to the base of each wound for 8 weeks, after which regular dressing was resumed. Microvascular blood flow was assessed using laser Doppler imaging immediately before and after 2, 5, and 8 weeks of treatment. Blood flow increased by an average of 72% in the base of five out of the seven ulcers studied. Five of the lesions healed by 12 weeks and the other two reduced in size by approximately 25%. The changes in blood flow observed in this pilot study might reflect angiogenesis in the newly formed granulation tissue and/or vasodilatation of existing vessels, processes that are possibly enhanced by the intervention.
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