The Utility of Iloprost in Treating Non-freezing Cold Injuries

Research Paper Title

Potential new treatment for non-freezing cold injury: is Iloprost the way forward?

Background

Non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) remains largely under-reported, and is of particular importance in the armed forces where its prevalence is greatest. Iloprost, a synthetic prostaglandin I2 analogue, has previously been used with some success in the treatment of vasospastic and freezing cold injuries, although its role in NFCI remains unclear.

Case Report

An Iloprost infusion was used to treat the long-term sequelae of an ex-soldier suffering with ongoing pedal pain and loss of function 20 years after the initial NFCI insult sustained on military exercise. Following 5 days of iloprost infusion, he reported 4 weeks of markedly reduced pain and increased mobility before symptom relapse. A second infusion was thus given 3 months later, which resulted in increased pain and analgesic requirements.

Discussion

The use of iloprost in the treatment of NFCI is discussed and its use in a condition which physicians consistently struggle to treat effectively is considered. Careful counselling is recommended as symptoms may be worsened.

Reference

Ionescu, A.M., Hutchinson, S., Ahmad, M. & Imray, C. (2017) Potential new treatment for non-freezing cold injury: is Iloprost the way forward? Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps. pii: jramc-2016-000672. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2016-000672. [Epub ahead of print]

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