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Magnetic Wound Treatment Externally Applied Magnetic Fields

A further effect relies on disinfecting capacity of oxygen radicals. With an increase in oxygen partial pressure, the number of germs in the wound will decrease considerably (Elstner, 1990).

In general, where there is normally a good supply of oxygen and energy in the wound area, only a comparatively smaller influence can be expected from the magnetic field treatment on wound healing. In contrast, a greater impact can be expected where such a supply in wound areas is critical.

Experimental Results

Kraus (1974) reports on the healing of acid burn necrotic skin wounds of animals. The treatment with magnetic fields of 8 x 10' A/m as compared to controls without it, showed a better organization of collagen fibres after ten days. The same author describes the influence of low frequency fields on the healing of skin wounds on the back of rats (Kraus, 1984). The subcutaneous tissue, considerably burnt by acid, was treated 8 hours daily with a magnetic field of 6.4 x 10' A/m and at a frequency of 22 Hz (sinus) in the direction of the longitudinal body axis. Within 21 to 26 days wounds of 12 cin 2 and 20 cm 2 closed, whereas similar wounds, not treated magnetically, showed ulcers and scabs, even after 50 days.

As pointed out, these results could be confirmed through clinical observations. Identical wound areas, mostly described as deep second degree burns, were treated 6 hours daily with magnetic fields of 1.6 x 10' A/m to 2.4 x 103 A/m and at a frequency of 20 Hz. The results were compared to those groups of patients who had similar wounds, but were not treated with magnetic fields. In almost all cases, a faster spontaneous epithelialization and a better scar formation was observed. These healing processes can be summarized: The treatment with magnetic field raises the healing capacity of complicated wounds to that of normally healing wounds (Kraus, 1984).
Wound dressings generally allow the application of permanent magnets - so no power supply needed - close to the wound during the healing process. Muhlbauer (1974) presents results of wound healing achieved by using pairs of small permanent magnets (strontium-ferrite) put together in belt form. Each pair was placed in such a way that the air, respectively field gaps, were along the incision (abdominal wall of the patient). Using this "magnetic zipper", it was possible to close the wounds well without the use of sutures. A clearly higher scar quality fields healed without significant scar formation was achieved when results were compared to wound closures without magnets respectively with sutures.

The said arrangement of magnets was also used on the edges of burn wounds. Besides this sutureless magnetic zipper, sutures were used for other wounds for comparison purposes. In all cases the wounds treated with magnetic fields healed without significant scar formation, whereas similar wounds not treated with magnetic fields showed signs of keloid formation and hypotrophy. In Muhlbauers article (1974) impressive photographs are reproduced showing keloid formation of burn wounds on both sides of the lower jaw of a patient.
In experiments on rabbits and guinea pigs, a sutureless zipper with permanent magnets stuck on externally was first developed. The incision line, treated with magnetic field, healed showing only a fine, lineal, totally level scarline without excessive scar tissue. Histologically most remarkable and clinically verified was the orderly growth of the collagen fibre bundles parallel to the magnetic field, i.e. across the wound incision.

In contrast, wounds not treated with magnetic fields showed a disorderly alignment of fibres. It is remarkable that the fibroblasts reach the fibrocytes stage earlier when the magnetic field treatment is used.

P. Kokoschinegg (1981) has worked with magnetic plasters (Tai-ki Acudot). Here a ferrite magnet, 5 mm in diameter and approximately 2.25 mm in height, is mounted onto a plaster 20 mm in diameter. 3 mm above the centre the magnetic field strength is about 1.1 X 104 A/m and decreases rapidly towards the sides. A very successful scar treatment, especially of burn scars, is pointed out and illustrated with photographs.

P. Kokoschinegg (1983) reports further on scar treatment using magnetic foils. Here, too, the definite improvement of scar quality could be achieved and pain in the affected areas could be alleviated.

Moreover, by using permanent magnets in animal experiments, the healing process of nerve endings reconnected without sutures was definitely improved (Muhlbauer, 1974). Axons grown together under the influence of the magnetic field showed parallel alignments of fibres without signs of altered growth in the area of the incision. After three months, the anastomoses were almost invisible.
The remarkably improved wound healing and scar formation fields healed without significant scar formation achieved by placing permanent magnets in the wound area, as mentioned by Kokoschinegg (1981, 1983) and Muhlbauer (1974) referred to previously, resulted in this case through the influence of static magnetic fields.

Furthermore, it is reported by W. Muhlbauer (1974) - as well as by Kraus (1984) - of clinical studies, carried out in collaboration with Kraus and Lang, on the influence of low frequency alternating magnetic fields in the healing process of large wound areas caused by burns and acid burns.

Here the wound surfaces - as also indicated by Kraus (1984) - were generally deep second degree burns, with a poor tendency to spontaneous healing. They were treated 6 hours daily with magnetic fields from approximately 1.6 x 10' A/m to approximately 8 X 103 A /in.
In Almost all cases, a faster epithelialization was established (after 3 to 4 weeks) with better subsequent scar formation fields healed without significant scar formation characterized by a high degree of vascularization, higher elasticity and increased mechanical resistance, in contrast to similar wound areas not treated with magnetic fields. Complicated wounds and trophic ulcers which before resisted all types of therapy could heal with a stable scar tissue formation when alternating magnetic fields were applied for 4 to 8 weeks.

More recent studies made by Ieran et al. (1990) and Stiller et al. (1992) show that magnetic field treatment significantly favors the healing of skin ulcers of venous origin in humans.

Ieran et al. (1990) reported on a study with 44 patients., where half of them were exposed to active stimulators (experimental group) and the remaining to dummy stimulators (placebo group). The stimulator used here generated a magnetic field of approx. 2.2 x 10 3 A/m at impulse frequency of 75 Hz vith an impulse width of 1.3 ms. The treatment was scheduled to last a maximum of 90 days. The success rate was significantly higher in the experimental group: 66.6% were healed vs. 31% in the placebo group. Furthermore no ulcers worsened in the experimental group and only 25% of which experienced recurrence of the ulcer. Whereas four worsened in the placebo group and 50% experienced recurrence of the ulcer.

Local application of magnetic fields can considerably increase peripheral blood perfusion as indicated by an increase of temperature in the treated area, which is a sign of local increase in the oxidation process. This is a result of the higher availability of oxygen in the tissues, caused by the tendency of oxygenated erythrocytes, having a higher magnetic energy than in deoxygenated state, to release oxygen when a magnetic field is applied. Better oxygen supply means better energy supply, so that a positive influence on the wound healing process can be expected when using magnetic field.

The fields to be applied are relatively low, so that they can easily be technically realised. Most effective are pulsed fields with extremely low frequencies. Magnetic field treatment can be expected to be most effective on wounds where oxygen and energy supply are critical, as in the case of ulcers.

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Ieran, M., Zaffuto, S., Bagnacani, M., Annovi, M., Moratti, A., & Cadossi, R. (1990). Effect of low frequency pulsing electromagnetic fields on skin ulcers of venous origin in humans:
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