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Chronic Venous Leg Ulcer Treatment: Future Research Needs

Research Report ARCHIVED Jan 10, 2014
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Archived: This report is greater than 3 years old. Findings may be used for research purposes, but should not be considered current.

This report is from AHRQ's series on Future Research Needs Projects.


Uncertainties Prompting Systematic Review

Chronic venous leg ulcers affect between 500,000 and 2 million persons annually, and over 50 percent of leg ulcers in the United States are classified as venous ulcers. They are caused by elevated venous pressure, turbulent venous flow, and inadequate venous return that can be due to occlusion or reflux in the venous system. The Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center performed a systematic review to determine the effectiveness and safety of advanced wound dressings, systemic antibiotics, and surgical interventions relative to either compression systems or each other among patients with chronic venous leg ulcers. We defined chronic venous leg ulcers as active, noninfected ulcers present for 6 weeks or more with evidence of pre-existing venous disease. An analytic framework was used in the systematic review to describe research gaps. Standard therapy includes aggressive compression with debridement, which heals 50 to 60 percent of venous leg ulcers. Widely used add-on interventions include wound dressings with active components ("advanced wound dressings"), local or systemic antimicrobials, and venous surgery.The comparative effectiveness and safety of these advanced wound dressings, antimicrobials and surgical procedures is unclear.

Purpose of Future Research Needs Report

We sought to identify the evidence gaps in the systematic review, to engage a representative group of stakeholders in prioritizing the gaps, and to develop future research needs questions regarding the high-priority gaps, with some discussion of appropriate study design taking into consideration the pertinent populations, interventions, comparisons, outcome measures, timing, and setting (PICOTS).

Journal Publications

Lazarus G, Valle MF, Malas M, et. al. Chronic venous leg ulcer treatment: Future research needs. Wound Repair Regen. 2013 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12102.[Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24134795

Project Timeline

Chronic Venous Leg Ulcer Treatment: Future Research Needs

Oct 2, 2013
Topic Initiated
Jan 10, 2014
Research Report Archived
Page last reviewed December 2019
Page originally created November 2017

Internet Citation: Research Report: Chronic Venous Leg Ulcer Treatment: Future Research Needs. Content last reviewed December 2019. Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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