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Retrospective study: pressure ulcers treated with SANTYL Ointment vs medicinal honey

Compared to medicinal honey users, SANTYL Ointment patients had:

  • Significantly fewer total office visits: 9.1 vs 12.6 (P<0.001)15
  • Fewer total episodic* debridements: 2.7 vs 4.4 (P<0.001)15
  • Less likely to receive negative pressure wound therapy: 29% vs 38% (P=0.002)15

* The type of episodic debridement was not specified in the data set.

In a retrospective study, pressure ulcers treated with SANTYL Ointment were found to be:


more likely

than honey to achieve 100% granulation at one year15†(P=0.018)


more likely

than honey to epithelialize at one year15‡(P=0.024)

Patients were treated (days of use) for an average of 34.0 days in the SANTYL Ointment group and 33.6 days in the medicinal honey group.15

Granulation was defined as percentage of the wound bed with granulation tissue formed. One hundred percent granulation was defined as complete debridement of the wound bed.

Epithelialization was defined as a “controlled” or “improved and not worsening” wound bed lacking exudate, with wound area <0.2cm2, and tissue depth <0.1cm.

Study details

Study overview, methods, and design

Gilligan A. (2017)15
Objective To retrospectively compare clinical outcomes between enzymatic debridement with SANTYL Ointment and autolytic support with medicinal honey for the treatment and management of pressure ulcers.
  • Retrospective de-identified electronic medical records (EMR) from the years 2007-2013 were extracted from the US Wound Registry
  • Propensity score matching method followed by multivariate analyses was used to adjust for selection bias and to test for treatment effect between wounds treated with SANTYL Ointment vs medicinal honey
  • A total of 517 SANTYL Ointment-treated pressure ulcers were matched to corresponding medicinal honey-treated pressure ulcers
  • The majority of pressure ulcers in the SANTYL Ointment and medicinal honey cohorts were stage III (56.1% and 55.3%, respectively) and located in the sacrum/buttock (32.3% and 36.6%, respectively)
Cohort demographics
  • SANTYL Ointment cohort (N=446)

    • Mean age: 66.2
    • Female: 213
    • Male: 233

    Medicinal honey cohort (N=341)

    • Mean age: 63.6
    • Female: 154
    • Male: 187
Limitations EMR data was not collected for research purposes and the diagnostic and procedural coding in the medical record was recorded by physicians to support reimbursement. Diagnoses or procedures in the EMR may have been documented incorrectly or not at all, thereby potentially introducing measurement error with respect to ICD-9-CM or CPT based variables.
Study results

Pressure ulcers treated with SANTYL Ointment demonstrated better clinical outcomes vs medicinal honey

Patients with pressure ulcers treated with SANTYL Ointment also:

  • Had significantly fewer office visits (9.1 vs 12.6: P<0.001)15
  • Had fewer total episodic debridements (2.7 vs 4.4: P<0.001)15
  • Were less likely to receive negative pressure wound therapy (29% vs 38%: P=0.002)15
Alternate Text

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What's next?

Efficacy comparison to hydrogel dressings

Important Safety Information:Use of SANTYL Ointment should be terminated when debridement is complete and granulation tissue is well established.

One case of systemic hypersensitivity has been reported after 1 year of treatment with collagenase and cortisone. Occasional slight transient erythema has been noted in surrounding tissue when applied outside the wound.