Efficacy of human recombinant epidermal growth factor vs. conventional therapy for the treatment of chronic venous ulcers: A retrospective case series
Introduction: Venous ulcers are the terminal phase of chronic venous insufficiency, the result of induced skin disorders and maintained by persistent venous hypertension. Affecting a large part of the adult population, they drain economic resources and greatly impact patient quality of life.
Objective: The objective of this descriptive, retrospective case series was to determine the efficacy of recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF) plus compression therapy vs standard of care in 48 patients with active ulcers resulting from chronic venous insufficiency.
Materials and Methods: In this descriptive, retrospective case series, 24 patients (mean age, 62.4 years) received rhEGF by intralesional and perilesional infiltration with compression therapy and 24 patients (mean age, 69.4 years) received treatment with topical hydrocolloid gels and compression therapy. In 62.5% of patients, the ulcers were located in the internal malleoli. Ulcer progression time, ulcer size, Wollina score index, number of conventional cures, rhEGF vials used, and time to epithelialization were documented.
Results: Epithelialization of the active ulcer was reached in 100% of intervened patients. In the 24 patients receiving rhEGF, 71% achieved wound closure in 8 weeks or less, and the remaining percentage achieved closure within 9 and 12 weeks. In the conventional therapy group, patients achieved closure in an average of 29.5 weeks, with a minimum of 13 weeks and a maximum of 46 weeks.
Conclusions: Although conventional therapy with the use of hydrocolloids and compression achieved adequate epithelialization of venous ulcers, the use of rhEGF significantly decreased healing time and could be a beneficial therapy to these patients who have few therapeutic options.