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2022 Jul 14

Int J Low Extrem Wounds

At-home Topical Sevoflurane Added to the Conventional Analgesic Treatment for Painful leg Ulcers Greatly Improved the Analgesic Effectiveness and Reduced Opioid Consumption in a Single-Center Retrospective Comparative Study with one-Year Follow-up.


The general anesthetic sevoflurane is being repurposed as a topical analgesic for painful chronic wounds. This study was aimed to compare the analgesic effectiveness and safety of systemic analgesics alone or plus at-home topical sevoflurane for the management of patients with painful nonrevascularizable leg ulcers who were referred to a Pain Clinic by their attending vascular surgeons. We reviewed charts of patients treated in a single Pain Clinic with analgesic Standard of Care either alone (group SoC) or plus at-home topical sevoflurane (group SoC + Sevo), according to safety criteria. The area under the curve of pain over a year (AUC-Pain) was the primary outcome for analgesic effectiveness. Opioids were converted into Oral Morphine Milligram Equivalents. Groups SoC (n = 26) and SoC + Sevo (n = 38) were similar in baseline characteristics. Compared to SoC, median values [interquartile range] of area under the curve of pain for one-year follow-up were markedly lower for SoC + Sevo (54 [35-65] 15 [11-23]; p < 0.000001, U Mann-Whitney test). Oral Morphine Milligram Equivalents were similar at baseline (SoC: 78.5 [22.5-135] SoC + Sevo: 101.3 [30-160]; p = 0.753), but significantly lower for SoC + Sevo at three (120 [22.5-202.5] 30 [0-80]; p = 0.005), six (120 [11.3-160] vs. 20 [0-67.5]; p = 0.004), nine (114.4 [0-154] 0 [0-37]; p = 0.018), and 12 months (114.4 [0-154] 0 [0-20]; p = 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed the addition of sevoflurane to be the most likely variable to explain this difference in outcome (ß:-33.408; p < 0.000001). Nine patients (24%) in SoC + Sevo had adverse effects attributed to sevoflurane, but only one patient needed to stop using sevoflurane due severe dermatitis. In conclusion, the addition of topical sevoflurane to the analgesic standard of care in patients with painful nonrevascularizable leg ulcers was a well-tolerated therapy that significantly improved pain control and allowed for a significant reduction in opioid consumption.