Transmission of therapeutic ultrasound by wound dressings
Ultrasound has been used for the treatment of a variety of cutaneous wounds, particularly venous ulcers. Many of the published studies involved application of ultrasound to the surrounding tissue rather than directly over the wound. Insonating the wound itself may enhance the healing process, but the lack of data regarding the transmission characteristics of dressings has limited the use of this option. This study aimed to measure the ultrasound transmissivity of dressings commonly employed for wound management. Forty-eight different dressings and wound care products were tested in vitro using a radiation force balance. Transmissivity was found to vary significantly between dressings, from excellent to zero. These findings may be useful to clinicians in deciding whether to apply ultrasound through a particular dressing. They could also inform future studies of the efficacy of ultrasound in wound management by application directly to wounds rather than to their periphery.