Combining a porcine-based wound wrap with negative pressure wound therapy increased wound healing in a small group of patients with chronic, Stage IV pressure ulcers.

In a 12-week study using a Smith & Nephew small intestinal submucosa extracellular matrix, or SIS-ECM, patients showed significant improvements between the eighth and 12th weeks compared with a control group.

The test group wore the triple-thick wrap containing material from pigs’ small intestines, which has been shown to stimulate cell migration, reduce inflammation and moisturize wound beds. The control group wore a non-adhering silicone dressing. 

Both received continuous negative pressure wound therapy at the same rate.

Both groups showed similar results through eight weeks of the trial, but then researchers at ProMedica Toledo Hospital and Ohio’s Wright State University observed a change.

“In week 12, the wounds treated with SIS-ECM continued to show increased healing, while the wounds treated with NPWT alone peaked in healing at week 8 and then declined,” the team wrote in the May issue of Wounds, though they couldn’t pinpoint the reason for the lag in response.

Further testing could reveal whether the adjunct treatment is a strong alternative for chronic wound patients unable to tolerate flap closure.