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Review: some but not all topical antimicrobial agents improve the rate of healing of chronic wounds

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 QUESTION: Are systemic and topical antimicrobial agents effective for healing chronic wounds (venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pilonidal sinuses)?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching 19 electronic databases, including Medline and CINAHL, from their inception to January 2000. Conference abstracts, journals, and bibliographies of included studies were handsearched, and experts were contacted.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised trials with a control group were selected if patients had or were at risk for developing diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, chronic leg ulcers, pilonidal sinuses, non-healing surgical wounds, or chronic cavity wounds; systemic or topical antimicrobial preparations (antibiotic, antifungal, or antiviral agents) intended to prevent or heal wounds were studied; and objective measurement of wound healing, …

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