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April 1990

Unna's Boot vs Polyurethane Foam Dressings for the Treatment of Venous UlcerationA Randomized Prospective Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Cleveland (Ohio) Veteran's Administration Medical Center (Dr Rubin and Ms Marman); Case Western Reserve University Hospitals, Cleveland (Drs Rubin and Plecha); and Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital (Dr Alexander).

Arch Surg. 1990;125(4):489-490. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410160075016

• Recent reports have suggested that polyurethane foam dressings provide a more rapid and comfortable healing of venous stasis cutaneous ulcerations than standard semirigid impregnated gauze dressings. This multi-institutional study consists of a randomized, prospective comparison of 36 consecutive patients who were treated with either polyurethane foam dressings (group 1, n = 17) or Unna's boot (group 2, n = 19) for venous ulceration of the lower extremities. Ulcer size ranged from 6.0 to 270 cm2 (mean, 32.2 cm2) for group 1 and 0.2 to 600 cm2 (mean, 76.0 cm2) for group 2. Nine (52.9%) of 17 group 1 patients withdrew from the study due to wound odor, while there was 100% compliance in group 2. Overall wound healing was superior in group 2(18[94.7%] of 19) as compared with group 1(7[41.2%] of 17) (x2=8.2). The rate of healing was also better in group 2 (0.5 cm2/d) than in group 1(0.07 cm2/d). Contrary to published European trials, impregnated gauze dressings exhibited superior treatment results when compared with polyurethane foam dressings in the current study.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:489-490)