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The treatment of skin ulcers frequently presents a management challenge. Nonhealing wounds with poor response to conventional wound management therapy represent a significant cause of disability, affecting approximately 1% of the global population. Activated protein C is a serine protease with anticoagulant, angiogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties that has shown efficacy in patients for the treatment of severe sepsis. We report 4 cases of nonhealing lower limb skin ulcers that were treated with activated protein C.
The study included 4 patients whose wounds were not improving despite standard wound treatment for 4 months or more. Activated protein C was applied topically to their wounds once weekly for 4 weeks. All 4 patients showed a rapid positive response to treatment that was maintained during a 4-month follow-up period. The treatment was well tolerated, with no remarkable adverse effects or complications.
Activated protein C can stimulate wound healing in patients with skin ulcers that are refractory to conventional wound-healing therapies. The likely mechanism of action is its recognized ability to stimulate angiogenesis and reepithelialization and to inhibit inflammation. Activated protein C has potential as a therapeutic option for patients with chronic skin ulcers.
Whitmont K, Reid I, Tritton S, et al. Treatment of Chronic Leg Ulcers With Topical Activated Protein C. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(11):1479–1483. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.11.1479
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