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July 1989

Débriding Properties of Krill Enzymes in Necrotic Leg Ulcers

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(7):1006. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670190140028

To the Editor.—  In necrotic ulcers the presence of devitalized tissue, pus, fibrin, and clotted blood inhibit granulation and epithelialization. Débridement is usually achieved surgically or by the use of topical enzymes. Recently, a new enzymatic preparation, derived from the digestive system of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) was shown to possess unique débriding properties.1,2 This multienzyme system contains a well-balanced mixture of endopeptidases and exopeptidases, which degrade complex protein material into water-soluble amino acids. Exhaustive allergenicity/toxicity studies on krill enzymes (Pharmacia AB, Uppsala, Sweden) demonstrate that they are safe for topical topical use.

Study Design and Results.—  Nineteenleg ulcers (15 in females, 4 in males) covered with black/yellow eschar, fibrin, and pus (12 arteriosclerotic, 7 venous) were treated for up to 7 days with wet compresses impregnated with 1.2 U of freshly prepared krill solution (Pharmacia AB) applied three times daily under plastic occlusion. Evaluation of treatment was performed daily and any side effects were noted. The proportional distribution of black/yellow necroses, fibrin, red granulations, and epithelialization was monitored during the whole treatment period. Severity of pain