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epidermal growth factor, leg ulcers, wound dressings, hard-to-heal wounds



  1. Doerler, Martin MD
  2. Eming, Sabine MD
  3. Dissemond, Joachim MD
  4. Wolter, Anneke MD
  5. Stoffels-Weindorf, Maren MD
  6. Reich-Schupke, Stefanie MD
  7. Altmeyer, Peter MD
  8. Stucker, Markus MD


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of a novel wound dressing containing epidermal growth factor (EGF) in a collagen-gel matrix on hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers.


PATIENTS AND METHODS: The authors included 33 hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers found on 31 patients. The EGF-containing dressing was applied 3 times while best practice conservative wound treatment was continued. Patients were followed up with after 1, 2, and 3 months to evaluate (a) the wound size, (b) the ease of application and dissolution of the dressing, and (c) the wound dressing by means of a scale ranging from 1 to 5 (1 = best, 5 = worst).


RESULTS: The protocol was completed by 25 of 31 patients. The reasons for discontinuation were wound infection, pain, and lost to follow-up (n = 2 each, respectively). After 3 months, the average wound surface was significantly reduced (from 33.69 cm2 to 18.94 cm2, P = .023). On a scale from 0 to 100, the wound dressing was evaluated as very easy to apply and highly dissolvable (mean value of 97.14 and 98.11, respectively; 100 = very easy to apply or 100% dissolution). The dressing was generally well tolerated and scored a mean overall rating of 2.16 by healthcare specialists and 2.40 by patients.


CONCLUSION: The authors' results demonstrate that the novel EGF-containing wound dressing was generally well tolerated and safe. Combined with the significant wound surface reduction, it can be regarded as an adequate novel treatment option for patients with hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers.