Document Detail

The efficacy of medicinal leeches in plastic and reconstructive surgery: A systematic review of 277 reported clinical cases.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22407551     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Background: Although there are numerous case reports and small case series describing the experiences of leech therapy in various circumstances, there are relatively few large studies evaluating the effectiveness of leeching to relieve venous congestion. The therapeutic value of leeching is illustrated by these reports but the current literature lacks a cohesive summary of previous experiences. Methods: An electronic search of PubMed, the Cochrane library and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination between 1966 and 2009 was used to retrieve human studies published in the English language evaluating outcomes following leech therapy. The "success" and "failure" of leech therapy were the primary outcome measures and secondary outcomes included complications, number of leeches used, pharmacological adjuncts and blood transfusion requirements. Results: In total, out of 461 articles, 394 articles met the exclusion criteria. The 67 included papers reported on 277 cases of leech use with an age range of 2-81 years and a male to female ratio of almost 2:1. The overall reported "success" rate following leech therapy was 77.98% (216/277). In terms of secondary outcome measures, 49.75% of cases (N = 101) required blood transfusions, 79.05% received antibiotics (N = 166) and 54.29% received concomitant anticoagulant therapy. The overall complication rate was 21.8%. Conclusion: In the absence of robust randomized controlled trials on which the evidence may be based, this synthesis of current best evidence guides clinicians during the process of consenting patients and using leeches in their practice. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2012.
Iain S Whitaker; Omar Oboumarzouk; Warren M Rozen; Naghmeh Naderi; S P Balasubramanian; Ernest A Azzopardi; Moshe Kon
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-8
Journal Detail:
Title:  Microsurgery     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1098-2752     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-12     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309230     Medline TA:  Microsurgery     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, Wales, UK; The Taylor Lab, Room E533, Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences, University of Melbourne, Grattan St, Parkville Victoria 3050 Australia.
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