Carley PJ, Wainapel SF. Electrotherapy for acceleration of wound healing: Low intensity direct current. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1985; 66:443-446.
Accelerated wound healing has been an observed effect of low intensity direct current (LIDC) in the range of 200 microA to 800 microA, but present electrotherapeutic equipment has been less than optimal in providing this range of stimulation. A small and portable LIDC stimulator was specially constructed and used in a study of the effects of LIDC on wound healing rates among inpatients here. Thirty patients with indolent ulcers located either below the knee or in the sacral area were randomly assigned to the LIDC protocol or to more conventional wound therapy. The patients in each treatment group were matched by age, diagnosis, wound size, and wound etiology. Comparison revealed 1.5 to 2.5 times faster healing in those receiving LIDC, which was statistically significant. The wounds treated with LIDC required less debridement and the healed scars were more resilient. Additionally, no wound infections occurred and patients reported less discomfort at the wound site. Low intensity direct current appears to be a convenient, reproducible, and effective method for improved healing of chronic open wounds and warrants more widespread use in the clinical setting.