Published online May 18, 2015. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i4.387
Peer-review started: November 30, 2014
First decision: December 26, 2014
Revised: March 4, 2015
Accepted: April 1, 2015
Article in press: April 3, 2015
Published online: May 18, 2015
Diabetic foot (DF) is a common complication of diabetes and the first cause of hospital admission in diabetic patients. In recent years several guidelines have been proposed to reinforce the the management of DF with a notable increase in diabetes knowledge and an overall reduction of amputations. Significant improvements have been reached in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) and nowadays clinicians have several advanced medications to apply for the best local therapy. Among these, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a useful adjunct in the management of chronic and complex wounds to promote healing and wound bed preparation for surgical procedures such as skin grafts and flap surgery. NPWT has shown remarkable results although its mechanisms of action are not completely understood. In this paper, we offer a complete overview of this medication and its implication in the clinical setting. We have examined literature related to NPWT concerning human, animal and in vitro studies, and we have summarized why, when and how we can use NPWT to treat DFUs. Further we have associated our clinical experience to scientific evidence in the field of diabetic foot to identify a defined strategy that could guide clinician in the use of NPWT approaching to DFUs.
Core tip: This paper represents a summary of the mechanism of action of negative pressure wound therapy and its effectiveness. Further, according to scientific findings and our experience, we propose a flow chart about its use addressed to the field of diabetic foot.