Prediction and monitoring the therapeutic response of chronic dermal wounds
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A significant proportion of chronic wounds fail to heal in response to treatment of underlying pathologies combined with good wound care practice. Current prognostic tests to identify these wounds rely on the use of algorithms based on clinically measurable parameters such as wound dimensions and wound duration. Venous leg ulcers may be stratified into healing/non healing at 24 weeks of compression therapy and diabetic foot ulcer treatment outcome assessed using a 3-parameter algorithm. Accurate and reproducible measurement of wound area is required for these algorithms to have clinical utility. Whilst a number of attempts have been made to develop computerised wound-assessment techniques, wound tracing by clinicians combined with planimetry remains the standard methodology. Once treatment has been initiated, it is important to continuously monitor the wound to assess efficacy of treatment. This can be achieved by measuring wound area change over the first weeks of treatment to identify whether re-assessment of treatment strategy is required. A number of algorithms for assessing rate of wound area change have been evaluated to determine a surrogate endpoint for healing. Retrospective analysis of large patient groups indicates that approximately 75% correct prediction of healing outcome can be achieved.
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