Maggot therapy in "lower-extremity hospice" wound care: Fewer amputations and more antibiotic-free days

David G. Armstrong, Precious Salas, Brian Short, Billy R. Martin, Heather R. Kimbriel, Brent P. Nixon, Andrew J.M. Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


We sought to assess, in a case-control model, the potential efficacy of maggot debridement therapy in 60 nonambulatory patients (mean ± SD age, 72.2 ± 6.8 years) with neuroischemic diabetic foot wounds (University of Texas grade C or D wounds below the malleoli) and peripheral vascular disease. Twenty-seven of these patients (45%) healed during 6 months of review. There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients healing in the maggot debridement therapy versus control group (57% versus 33%). Of patients who healed, time to healing was significantly shorter in the maggot therapy than in the control group (18.5 ± 4.8 versus 22.4 ± 4.4 weeks). Approximately one in five patients (22%) underwent a high-level (above-the-foot) amputation. Patients in the control group were three times as likely to undergo amputation (33% versus 10%). Although there was no significant difference in infection prevalence in patients undergoing maggot therapy versus controls (80% versus 60%), there were significantly more antibiotic-free days during follow-up in patients who received maggot therapy (126.8 ± 30.3 versus 81.9 ± 42.1 days). Maggot debridement therapy reduces short-term morbidity in nonambulatory patients with diabetic foot wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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