Objective assessment of wound healing is fundamental to evaluate therapeutic and nutritional interventions and to identify complications. Despite availability of many techniques to monitor wounds, there is a need for a safe, practical, accurate, and effective method. A new method is localized bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) that noninvasively provides information describing cellular changes that occur during healing and signal complications to wound healing. This article describes the theory and application of localized BIA and provides examples of its use among patients with lower leg wounds. This promising method may afford clinicians a novel technique for routine monitoring of interventions and surveillance of wounds.
Wound healing is a dynamic, interactive cascade of molecular, cellular and biochemical processes. Despite accumulating knowledge of the biology of wound healing, the estimated annual cost of treating wounds exceeds $20 billion in the United States, particularly for wounds of the lower body. Although many therapeutic interventions are utilized to treat wounds, physician decisions are hampered by the lack of objective and convenient methods to monitor treatment effects and to assess wound healing. Contemporary methods have limitations including cost, time commitment, reliability, and accuracy. Thus, the need persists for an objective, suitable, and practical method to assess wound healing.
Assessment of the effectiveness of treatment to foster wound healing is a complex and broad field. Traditional methods estimate the dimensions of wounds including surface area and volume. Physiological approaches utilize molecular and biochemical indicators that provide less subjective information. Because successful wound healing is a dynamic process that integrates physiological and biochemical factors and mechanisms, reliance on a single aspect of the process may be inadequate. This article describes the use of localized bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measurements to monitor cellular processes involved in wound healing … read more