Authors: Kaitlyn A Link, Judith B Koenig, Andressa Silveira, Brandon L Plattner, Brandon N Lillie
A new study has found that extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) can significantly increase the expression of growth factors in skin wounds of horses. The study, conducted on 14 healthy horses, compared the effects of ESWT on the expression of five different growth factors in surgically created wounds and intact skin. The growth factors studied were fibroblast growth factor-7 (FGF-7), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), platelet-derived growth factor-A (PDGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF).
The results showed that ESWT was associated with reduced TGF-β1 expression in surgically created wounds, compared to control wounds, throughout the study period. IGF-1 expression was significantly increased in both treated and untreated wounds at day 28, compared to days 7, 14, 21, and 35. However, there was no significant effect of ESWT on growth factor expression in intact skin.
These findings suggest that ESWT may be beneficial in improving wound healing in the distal portion of horses’ limbs by suppressing the production of granulation tissue. This could have important implications for the equine industry, as wound healing is crucial for the health and well-being of horses. The use of ESWT in horses may also have potential applications in human medicine, particularly in the treatment of chronic wounds that are difficult to heal using conventional therapies.