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adjunctive therapy, diabetic foot ulcer, electrical stimulation, literature review, meta-analysis, wound healing



  1. Chen, Zong BS
  2. Chen, Zhi-You BS
  3. Liu, Wen-Hui MD
  4. Li, Guang-Shuai MD, PhD


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of electric stimulation (ES) for diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) treatment.


METHODS: The authors searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and databases for randomized clinical trials published through March 2019 that compared the efficacy of ES and standard wound care (SWC) versus SWC alone for DFU treatment. The outcomes were pooled using a random-effects model.


RESULTS: Of the 145 randomized clinical trials initially identified, seven studies (with a total of 274 patients) met the inclusion criteria. The percentage decrease in ulcer area at 4 weeks was significantly greater in patients treated with ES and SWC than SWC alone (standardized mean difference, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-1.57; P < .001). The ulcer healing rate at 12 weeks was also significantly faster in the ES group (risk difference, 0.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.06-0.32; P = .005). Subgroup analysis showed comparable efficacies with different waveforms (monophasic vs biphasic).


CONCLUSIONS: Electrical stimulation appears to be an effective adjunctive therapy for accelerating DFU healing.