MONDAY, May 21, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- A topical gel derived from a patient's own blood may help wounds heal more quickly and completely, according to a new preliminary study.
U.S. researchers tested the effectiveness of a gel made from platelets (particles important for blood clotting) from the blood eight healthy men and women age 21 and older. First, the researchers made five 4-millimeter (one-eighth of an inch) skin wounds 3 centimeters apart on both the right and left upper thighs of all the volunteers.
The autologous ("from the patient") platelet gel was applied to the wounds on one leg, while antibiotic ointment or a dressing was applied to the wounds on the other leg. The wounds were monitored for six months, and skin biopsies were done on each leg at the end of that time.
After 17 days, the wounds treated with the autologous platelet gel were more than 81 percent closed, compared with about 57 percent closure for the wounds treated with antibiotic ointment or a dressing.
None of the participants developed infections, and there were no serious adverse events.
The findings are published in the May/June issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.
"In this pilot study, autologous platelet gel appeared to enhance wound closure in acute full-thickness dermal wounds in healthy subjects," the study authors wrote. "Further investigations are needed to confirm the consistency of these results. If further studies support these findings, autologous gel treatment during surgery could have a useful impact on the enhancement of postoperative dermal wound healing in surgical patients."
The study, was funded by Medtronic Inc., and the study authors have financial/professional ties with the company.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers advice about wound care.