Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) often take a very long time to heal. Timolol maleate has been reported as displaying efficacy in healing of VLUs.
To evaluate the efficacy of timolol maleate gel in the management of hard-to-heal VLUs and to assess its safety as a topical agent during 12 weeks of use in combination with conventional treatment.
A prospective, phase-II randomised-controlled trial with a sample size based on Fleming's one-stage design (P0=0.25, P1=0.45, alpha=0.1, beta=0.2) was planned. Patients with VLUs present for ≥24 weeks and with ≥50% granulation tissue were included. One drop of sustained-release timolol gel (Timoptol® LP 0.5%, Santen, Tampere, Finland) per 6 cm2 VLU area was applied every 2 days for 12 weeks in timolol-treated patients, as adjuvant therapy to the standard care protocol (interface dressing and multilayer venous compression). Controls received standard care alone. The primary endpoint was to obtain ≥40% reduction in ulcer area at week 12 (W12).
Forty-three patients were randomised to the study, with 40 receiving at least one treatment and included in the analysis: 21 timolol-treated patients and 19 controls (females: 70%; median age: 72.5 [range 35–93] years). At W12, ≥40% ulcer-area reduction was achieved in 14/21 (67%) timolol-treated patients vs. 6/19 (32%) controls. No serious adverse events occurred. Local wound infections not requiring systemic antibiotics occurred in 5 cases in the timolol group and in one case in the controls.
These results support the benefit and safety of using timolol maleate to manage hard-to-heal VLUs, but confirmation is required in a larger multicentre randomised phase-III study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Venous leg ulcer, Timolol maleate gel, Randomised trial, Betablockers