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venous leg ulcer, surgery, bioengineered tissue, electrical stimulation, wound healing, edema



  1. Thakral, Gaurav MD
  2. La Fontaine, Javier DPM, MS
  3. Kim, Paul DPM
  4. Najafi, Bijan PhD
  5. Nichols, Adam DPM
  6. Lavery, Lawrence A. DPM, MPH


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the peer-reviewed literature that compares advanced venous leg ulcer therapies to standard of care with compression dressings.


METHODS: A MEDLINE search for venous ulcer treatment with electrical stimulation, surgical vein correction, and bioengineered tissues was conducted. Randomized clinical trials comparing advanced treatment with standard of care using compression dressing were included. A total of 7 bioengineered tissue, 4 surgical treatment, and 4 electrical stimulation randomized clinical trials were identified.


RESULTS: Compared with nonstandard treatments, electrical stimulation demonstrated improved wound healing, fewer adverse events, and shorter duration of healing. Healing rates at the end of the study were greater for surgical intervention, followed by similar outcomes for electrical stimulation and bioengineered tissues. Studies involving bioengineered tissues and surgical venous ablation demonstrated inconsistent/inconclusive results.


CONCLUSIONS: Utilization of electrical stimulation in venous ulcer management has not been fully explored. Further studies of dosing electrical stimulation therapy may reveal therapeutic and preventive benefits for managing venous ulcers not yet elucidated.