Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment for Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Ching Jen Wang*, Yur Ren Kuo, Re Wen Wu, Rue Tsuan Liu, Chi Shiung Hsu, Feng Sheng Wang, Kuender D. Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

83 Scopus citations


Background: This prospective study compared extracorporeal shockwave treatment (ESWT) with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) in chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Patients and methods: Seventy-two patients with 72 chronic diabetic foot ulcers were randomly divided into two groups of similar demographics with 34 patients with 36 ulcers in the ESWT group and 36 patients with 36 ulcers in the HBO group. Patients in the ESWT group received 300 + 100/cm2 impulses of shockwave at 0.11 mJ/cm2 energy flux density every 2 wk for 6 wk, whereas patients in the HBO group received HBO daily for 20 treatments. The evaluations included clinical assessment of the ulcers with photo-documentation, blood flow perfusion scan, bacteriological examination, histological study, and immunohistochemical analysis. Results: The overall results showed completely healed in 31%, improved in 58%, and unchanged in 11% for the ESWT group and 22% completely healed, 50% improved, and 28% unchanged for the HBO group. The ESWT group showed significantly better clinical results and local blood flow perfusion, higher cell concentration, and activity than the HBO group. On immunohistochemical analysis, the ESWT group demonstrated significant increases in endothelial nitric oxide synthase, vessel endothelial growth factor, and proliferation cell nuclear antigen expressions and a decrease in transference-mediated digoxigenin-deoxy-UTP nick end-labeling expression than the HBO group. Conclusions: ESWT appears to be more effective than HBO in chronic diabetic foot ulcers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 03 2009


  • ESWT
  • HBO
  • diabetic
  • foot ulcers


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