Effects of polyurethane foam dressings as an add-on therapy in the management of digital ulcers in scleroderma patients
Rossi, Francesca Wanda
De Paulis, Amato
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Digital ulcers (DUs) represent a severe and common complication occurring in patients affected by Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), with a consistent impact on the quality of life and often resulting in longer hospitalization than unaffected patients. Conventional treatment of SSc ulcers consists of both topical and systemic (oral or intravenous) pharmacological therapies. Several surgical options are also available, but there is overall a lack of official guidelines or recommendations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a novel local therapy based on polyurethane foam dressings, namely the Highly Hydrophilic Polyurethane Foam (HPF), in addition to the conventional pharmacological treatment, in a cohort of 41 SSc patients with at least one active ulcer. Our results showed that the addition of HPF to the conventional treatment based on systemic drugs induced i) a significant reduction in the number of active DUs (p=0.0034); ii) a significant reduction of the mean duration of ulcer-related hospitalization as compared with standard therapy (p=0.0001); iii) a significant improvement of patients’ Quality of Life, as evaluated through the Scleroderma Health Assessment Questionnaire (SHAQ) (p=0.00011). Therefore, in our experience, the combined management of DUs can improve both the onset of new DUs and DU’s healing thus leading to a better outcome.