background: Agents reviewed for this manuscript were both rare and popular topical treatments for pressure ulcers. objective: To review topical treatments for pressure ulcers and evaluate them based on available literature of controlled, blinded, and randomized trials. methods: A MEDLARS database (1966-1993) search and a thorough review of reference article lists of key articles produced over 100 manuscripts. Studies were considered for review if they were conducted on humans with chronic stage II to IV pressure ulcers, in a properly controlled and randomized fashion. results: The use of zinc acetate and aluminum hydroxide ointment, phenytoin, recombinant platelet-derived growth factorBB (rPDGF-BB), and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) have been evaluated in a controlled and blinded fashion. Many of the newer agents, cytokine growth factor (eg, rPDGF-BB and bFGF) and skin equivalents, are currently being scrutinized in clinical trials. conclusion: A paucity of data exist that adequately address the efficacy of any topical agent for the treatment of pressure ulcers. Dermatol Surg 1995;21:145-148.
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