Does electrical stimulation improve healing in acute minor burn injury, as measured by bioimpedance spectroscopy? A single center, randomized, controlled trial


Background: Electrical stimulation (ES) has been shown to improve wound healing in chronic wounds. Recent studies in burn injured populations have demonstrated that ES improved edema and healing using short duration stimulation. This study utilized a low energy long duration ES using a portable device. The aim was to determine how this mode of stimulation influences the acute burn wound, as measured using bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS). Our group has previously validated the use of BIS for measuring edema changes with wound healing in burn injured patients.

Methods: This study is a within patient control, randomized study of 30 patients (24 male) presenting with burns to multiple limbs. One affected limb was randomized to receive ES and routine dressings. The other wound received routine care only. Minor burn wounds were stimulated for 10–14 days for more than 20 h/day. Serial localized BIS resistance and phase angle raw data measures were used to monitor edema and wound responses with treatment.

Results: Multi-level mixed effects regression analyses demonstrated phase angle at 50 kHz increased at a faster rate in the stimulated wound. Stimulated wounds exhibited an increased rate of edema reduction as measured by extracellular tissue impedance.

Conclusion: ES was confirmed to be an easily applied adjunct therapy to improve the rate of edema reduction in acute minor burn injury, and positively influences phase angle measures in the acute burn wound.


wound healing, bioelectrical impedance, electrical stimulation, burns, edema

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library