Diabetic wounds with additional comorbidities are costly, time intensive, and difficult to heal. Often, multiple modalities may be necessary to achieve wound resolution, relying on the synergistic advantage of each therapy to affect wound healing. The selectivity of Clostridium collagenase is physiologically effective at degrading non-viable collagen fibers while preserving living collagen tissue. Additionally, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has long been used to aid wound healing while concurrently depreciating biological wound burden time.
Six patients were selected from those appearing to our university based limb salvage service. Inclusion criteria included patients with a recurrent mixed fibrotic and granular wound base, in which NPWT was indicated, without exclusion criteria. Patients enrolled were administered clostridial collagenase ointment at each regularly scheduled NPWT dressing change. Patients were followed until healing, with visual representations of wound progression and time to full healing recorded.
Tandem application of these therapies appeared to expedite wound healing by clearing degenerative fibrous tissue and expediting wound granulation without additional complication. Unfortunately, not all patients were able to reach full healing; with two patients experiencing ulcer recurrence, likely a result of their significant comorbid nature.
In our experience, we have noticed a specific subgroup of patients who benefit greatly when collagenase enzymatic debridement therapy is combined with NPWT. It is our belief that this combination therapy combines the molecular clearing of non-viable collagen with the wound granulation necessary to advance complex wounds to the next step in healing despite the current paucity in literature discussing this specific pairing.