Pig bladder holds healing promise: study

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An extracellular matrix created from the urinary bladders of pigs, combined with offloading, has shown “significant” promise in treating diabetic foot ulcers, according to a recent study.

A research team led by Oscar M. Alvarez, Ph.D., program director of the vascular and wound care center at University Hospital in Rutgers, NJ, split a group of 17 patients into two groups to test the efficacy of the porcine bladder matrix. 

One group received treatment with the matrix, or UBM, plus offloading with a total contact cast or standard care. The second group served as the control.

After 12 weeks, the group treated with the UBM showed a 90% incidence of wound healing, compared to 33% in the control group. At 16 weeks, the UBM group had 100% healing, while the control group had an 83.3% incidence of healing.

At one year, the patients treated with the UBM had a 10% rate of wound recurrence, compared to the control group, with a 50% recurrence rate.

“Wounds managed with UBM healed more rapidly and with fewer risks of recurrence,” Alvarez wrote. 

Results were published in late February in Wounds.