Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 176-181

From compression to injections: Prostaglandins paving a new direction for venous leg ulcer treatment

Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Basavanthappa
Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_12_19

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Objective: Venous ulcers play a major burden on the patient and health-care system in terms of morbidity and medical expenditure. The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) administered via intravenous infusion in the healing time of venous leg ulcer and to evaluate the safety of prostaglandin intravenous infusion. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational study at a single tertiary care center. Patients who had proven venous ulcers of the legs which are not healing for more than 3 months with conventional therapy were included. About 500 μg PGE1 was given in equally divided doses over 5 days as intravenous infusion along with regular compression therapy. Ulcers were followed up every 3 weeks for 18 weeks and measurement of ulcer area done. Results: A total of 47 patients with 50 ulcers were included in the study with a mean age of 55.9 years. About 50% of ulcers healed 9 weeks after PGE1 administration and 92% healed after 18 weeks of treatment. The estimated healing time of 25%, 50%, and 75% of the patients treated with PGE1 was 40, 63, and 86 days, respectively, which was statistically significant compared to the previous studies with compression therapy alone. The only factor to independently affect healing time was found to be the initial ulcer size. There were no major adversities with PGE1 administration, 2 patients developed minor symptoms, in the form of hypotension and tachycardia, which were managed with stoppage of infusion for short duration. Conclusion: The study shows the effectiveness of PGE1 in reducing the healing time of VLUs, thereby allowing patients for lesser hospitalization and quicker return to work and life producing improvement in the quality of life. The adverse effects were also very minor with PGE1 treatment, overall, acceptable and were well tolerated by the patients.

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