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Effect of an arginine-containing nutritional supplement on pressure ulcer healing in community spinal patients

journal contribution
posted on 2010-07-01, 00:00 authored by S Brewer, Kate DesnevesKate Desneves, L Pearce, K Mills, L Dunn, D Brown, Timothy Crowe
Objective: To determine whether or not the use of an arginine-containing nutritional supplement could result in signifi cantly shorter pressure ulcer (PU) healing times in people with spinal cord injuries living in the community, compared with a comparative historical control group. Method: Eighteen spinal-cord-injured patients (all part of a hospital spinal outreach service) received 9g of a commercial powdered arginine supplement per day until full PU healing occurred. Healing rates were compared against 17 historical control patients (as assessed by medical history audit). 
Results: Baseline characteristics (age, gender, injury level and time) were similar between groups. Mean ulcer healing times were 10.5 ± 1.3 weeks versus 21 ± 3.7 weeks (p<0.05) in the intervention and control groups respectively. Comparison of healing rates in the intervention group against expected healing rates derived from the medical literature showed that intervention patients had a signifi cantly shorter mean healing time (category 2 PU: 5.5±1.3 weeks versus 13.4 weeks; category 3 PU: 12.5 ± 1.9 weeks versus 18.2 weeks; category 4 PU: 14.4 ± 4.8 weeks versus 22.1 weeks). A diagnosis of diabetes did not significantly alter healing rates in either group. Conclusion: Results from this observational study show a promising benefit of arginine supplementation on PU healing for individuals with spinal cord injury living in the community.



Journal of wound care






311 - 316


Mark Allen Publishing


London, England





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Mark Allen Group