This is the last Wounds issue prior to the 17th Annual Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and Medical Research Forum on Wound Repair (SAWC), which will be held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, May 2–5. As in the past, we are pleased to highlight some selected abstracts of work to be presented at the sessions. The 27 abstracts published here demonstrate many of the targets at which clinical research and practice have been focused over the last year. Objective measurement techniques for wound healing progress, the importance and prevention of biofilm formation in wounds, wound healing outcomes studies, incidence of depression in patients with chronic wounds, new topical products for enhancing repair, measurement of wound moisture levels, and growth factor regulation during burn repair are a few of the topics previewed. The SAWC over the years has continued to grow in size, quality and importance, and the May meeting is sure to continue this trend.
I want to recognize and congratulate the winners of the 2004 Wounds Annual Young Investigators Award. Each of them has at least one abstract in the Selected Abstract Preview found in this issue. They are Carlos A. Charles, Mark Beuger, David McColl, and Carlos Ricotti.
Laura Bolton’s Evidence Corner addresses studies on the use of lasers to stimulate healing. A critical review of published papers on the subject suggests that there is insufficient reliable evidence to draw conclusions about the effects of laser therapy for enhancing the repair of chronic wounds. A review of work on using lasers to assist penetration of topical anesthetics revealed that laser ablation of a small area of stratum corneum was a safe and effective method to enhance penetration of an anesthetic or other topically applied medication.
Birke, et al., (The effectiveness of a modified wedge shoe in reducing pressure at the area of previous great toe ulceration in individuals with diabetes mellitus) compared the efficacy of several offloading devices in patients with a history of toe ulceration. They show that a variety of these offloading devices are effective and discuss the many factors to consider in selecting appropriate one.
Sullivan, et al., (Assessment of wound bioburden development in a rat acute wound model: Quantitative swab versus tissue biopsy) compared a swab culturing technique and tissue biopsy method for determining bacterial levels in surgical excisions in rats covered by moist wound dressings. They report that both methods identified the same types of organisms, although the swab method underestimated the actual numbers of bacteria by two logs. These findings are similar to other reports on this topic and suggest that swab culturing is useful for guiding initial treatment options.
Jia, et al., (The effect of intermittent radiant warming on the contraction of collagen lattices populated with human dermal fibroblasts and on the proliferation of ulcer fibroblasts in monolayer: An in-vitro pilot study) employed the use of fibroblast-populated collagen lattices to determine whether radiant warming has a direct effect on fibroblast proliferation and contraction. It is thought that radiant warming may exert its clinical efficacy through the mechanisms of improving oxygen tension, increasing blood flow, modification of chronic wound fluid, and overcoming hypothermia. The authors show that intermittent radiant warming in this experimental system directly increased fibroblast proliferation and lattice contraction.
Matheson (Folliculitis following burn injury) describes and discusses folliculitis following deep second-degree burns. The author reports the incidence of this condition to be five percent in 430 cases treated at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in Australia. Stratifying the data, those patients with deep burns to the head had a 91-percent incidence of post-burn folliculitis. Two case histories and a new approach to treating burn folliculitis are presented.
In Diagnostic Dilemmas, Federman, et al., present a case of a patient with painful ulcers on the lower extremities. He had received prior treatment for presumed cellulitis. The authors discuss their investigations leading to a diagnosis of pancreatic panniculitis, an inflammatory reaction of adipose tissue. Treatment and patient management options are reviewed.
The staff, editors, and editorial advisors for Wounds look forward to seeing our Readers at the upcoming SAWC.
David T. Rovee, PhD