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high-voltage monophasic pulsed current wound healing, pressure ulcers, electrical stimulation



  1. Polak, Anna PhD, PT
  2. Kloth, Luther C. MS, PT
  3. Blaszczak, Edward PhD, MSc
  4. Taradaj, Jakub PhD, PT
  5. Nawrat-Szoltysik, Agnieszka PhD, PT
  6. Walczak, Anna PT
  7. Bialek, Lidia PhD, PT
  8. Paczula, Malgorzata MD
  9. Franek, Andrzej PhD, MSc
  10. Kucio, Cezary MS


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of high-voltage monophasic pulsed current (HVMPC) as an adjunct to a standard wound care for the treatment of Stage II and III pressure ulcers (PrUs).


DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical study.


SETTING: Two nursing and care centers.


PATIENTS: Patients with PrUs that did not respond to previous treatment for at least 4 weeks were randomly assigned to the electrical stimulation (ES) group (25 patients; mean age of 79.92 +/- 8.50 years; mean wound surface area [WSA] of 10.58 +/- 10.57 cm2) or to the control group (24 patients; mean age of 76.33 +/- 12.74 years; mean WSA of 9.71 +/- 6.70 cm2).


INTERVENTIONS: Both the ES and control groups received standard wound care and respectively, cathodal HVMPC (154 microseconds; 100 pulses per second; 0.24 A; 250 [mu]/s) applied continuously for 50 minutes once a day, 5 times a week, or sham HVMPC.


MAIN OUTCOME: Percentage area reduction over 6 weeks of intervention.


MAIN RESULTS: In the ES group, there was a statistically significant decrease in WSA after 1 week of treatment (35% +/- 30.5%) compared with 17.07% +/- 34.13% in the control group (P = .032). After treatment, at week 6, percentage area reduction in the ES group was 80.31% +/- 29.02% versus 54.65% +/- 42.65% in the control group (P = .046).


CONCLUSIONS: Cathodal HVMPC reduces the WSA of Stage II and III PrUs. The results are consistent with the results of other researchers who used HVMPC to treat PrUs.