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chronic wound, debridement, larval therapy, maggot debridement therapy, ulcer, wound healing



  1. Syam, Kevin MBBS, FRCS
  2. Joiya, Shaheer A. MD
  3. Khan, Sumayyah BSc
  4. Unnikrishnan, P. Nithin MBBS, FRCS


OBJECTIVE: To critically analyze the existing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the clinical, economic, and psychological implications of maggot debridement therapy (MDT).


DATA SOURCES: An exhaustive literature search for English-language publications was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed.


STUDY SELECTION: Keywords used for the search were based on the PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) framework. The titles, abstracts, and relevant full-text articles were screened. Seven RCTs were selected after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria.


DATA EXTRACTION: Data pertaining to the primary and secondary outcomes of each study were extracted.


DATA SYNTHESIS: The data extracted were evaluated and categorized into clinical, economic, and psychological outcomes pertaining to MDT. A judicious evaluation of these outcomes was made, and the following conclusions were drawn.


CONCLUSIONS: There exists heterogeneity in the extant RCTs, but MDT appears to be effective for a quick early debridement. For diabetic foot ulcers, MDT improves debridement, controls infection, and enhances wound healing. In chronic peripheral vascular disease ulcers, it aids in early debridement, but the final outcome is equivocal. Further robust integrated health economic and parallel qualitative assessment studies are recommended to understand the cost-effectiveness and patient acceptability and experience.