Leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and disease

Adam J. Mamelak, Adrianna Jackson, Rabia Nizamani, Ofer Arnon, Nanette J. Liegeois, Richard Redett, Patrick J Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Over the ages, the use of leeches in medicine has evolved from haphazard bloodletting to a well-understood physiologic process with defined, rational applications. Objective: The authors describe the current role of leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and medicine. Methods: Case series and review of the literature. Results: Leech saliva contains anticoagulative, anti-aggregative and vasodilatory components. Combined with the annelid's mechanical ability to extract blood, leeches can contribute to patients' health with minimal risks. Conclusion: Leeches should be considered as novel therapies for disorders of coagulation and venous congestion. Implementation of leech treatment should be tempered with the potential adverse effects, including Aeromonas infection and a drop in hematocrit that might require a blood transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Volume9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Leeching
Dermatologic Surgical Procedures
Leeches
Skin Diseases
Bloodletting
Medicine
Aeromonas
Hyperemia
Hematocrit
Saliva
Blood Transfusion
Health
Therapeutics
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

Cite this

Mamelak, A. J., Jackson, A., Nizamani, R., Arnon, O., Liegeois, N. J., Redett, R., & Byrne, P. J. (2010). Leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and disease. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 9(3), 252-257.

Leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and disease. / Mamelak, Adam J.; Jackson, Adrianna; Nizamani, Rabia; Arnon, Ofer; Liegeois, Nanette J.; Redett, Richard; Byrne, Patrick J.

In: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Vol. 9, No. 3, 03.2010, p. 252-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mamelak, AJ, Jackson, A, Nizamani, R, Arnon, O, Liegeois, NJ, Redett, R & Byrne, PJ 2010, 'Leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and disease', Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 252-257.
Mamelak AJ, Jackson A, Nizamani R, Arnon O, Liegeois NJ, Redett R et al. Leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and disease. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2010 Mar;9(3):252-257.
Mamelak, Adam J. ; Jackson, Adrianna ; Nizamani, Rabia ; Arnon, Ofer ; Liegeois, Nanette J. ; Redett, Richard ; Byrne, Patrick J. / Leech therapy in cutaneous surgery and disease. In: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2010 ; Vol. 9, No. 3. pp. 252-257.
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