Four studies (n=206) were included in the review: two single-centre RCTs, one multicentre RCT and one two-centre crossover RCT. Three studies were classified as high risk of bias and one as moderate risk of bias.
The highest quality study of 162 patients with partial foot amputations reported a 20% improvement in wound healing with NPWT (OR 2.0%, 95% CI -1.0% to 4.0%, NNT=6, 95% CI 4 to 64). This study also reported a reduction in the risk of secondary amputation (ARR 7.9%, 95% CI 0.5% to 15.43%) and significantly shorter time to wound closure and improved granulation with NPWT.
Three smaller studies (n=10, n=10 and n=24) also reported improvements in secondary wound healing outcomes.
No serious treatment-related complications were reported in any study.
No data on patient satisfaction or quality of life were reported.