Faster Healing and a Lower Rate of Recurrence of Venous Ulcers Treated With Intermittent Pneumatic Compression

Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Oscar M. Alvarez, PhD; Lee Markowitz, DPM; Rachelle Parker, MD; Martin E. Wendelken, DPM, RN


ePlasty. 2020;20(e6) 

In This Article


There were no significant differences between the control and IPC treatment groups in patient demographics and baseline ulcer size and duration. The median time to wound closure at 8 months is shown in Figure 3. When compared with control treatment at the 8-month time point, IPC therapy reduced by 1.6-fold the median time to complete healing (P = .031). The rate of healing for both treatment groups is shown in Table 1. The speed of healing (in mm/d) was more than 2 times greater in the group receiving both standard compression bandages and IPC therapy (P = .41). The effect of IPC therapy on leg edema is shown in Table 2. After 20 weeks, the percent reduction in ankle and calf circumference was slightly greater favoring the IPC group, but this difference was not statistically significant. Local wound VAS pain scores for both treatment groups are shown in Figure 4. Significant (P < .05) wound pain relief was reported by study subjects receiving IPC only during the first 3 weeks of treatment. Thereafter, both treatment groups reported less wound pain.

Figure 3.

Median time to wound closure by 8 months. IPC indicates intermittent pneumatic compression.

Figure 4.

Effect of IPC therapy on local (wound) pain. IPC indicates intermittent pneumatic compression; VAS, visual analog scale.