- Chronic leg ulcers are a complication of many blood disorders such as sickle cell disease,
thalassemia, and other red blood cell disorders. In these disorders, red blood cells break
down earlier than normal, which researchers suspect may cause or contribute to the
development of leg ulcers; however, the exact cause is unknown, and current therapies are not
very effective. Researchers are interested in determining if a research cream made with
sodium nitrite, a substance that is known to increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels,
may speed up the healing of skin ulcers.
- To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of topical sodium nitrite cream as a treatment for
chronic leg ulcers in individuals with sickle cell disease or other red blood cell disorders.
- Individuals at least 18 years of age who have sickle cell disease or another red cell
disorder and have had a leg ulcer for more than 4 weeks.
- Participants will be screened with a physical examination, medical history, blood tests,
and an examination of the ulcer, including x-ray of the leg(s) with the ulcer and swabs
from the wound.
- Participants will be scheduled for a 5-day inpatient stay at the Clinical Center, with
the following procedures:
- Days 1 and 2: Participants will have blood draws, a wound assessment, ultrasound of the
affected leg, imaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and infrared photography),
thermo-patch application to monitor temperature changes, measurements of blood flow in
the skin, and questionnaires about pain and quality of life. An optional skin biopsy may
also be conducted with samples taken near the skin ulcer
- Day 3: Participants will have one ulcer treated with the topical cream. Frequent blood
draws will be conducted before application and then regularly for up to 6 hours after
application of the cream. Thirty minutes after the research cream is applied,
participants will have imaging studies of the treated leg and measurements of pain
levels and blood flow.
- Day 4: Participants will have a blood draw and temperature recordings taken.
- Day 5: Participants will have the research cream applied and the same imaging studies as
before, and will be discharged for care at home.
- For the following 3 weeks, participants will come to the clinical center twice a week to
have the research cream applied to the leg ulcer and tests performed by the study
- For the fourth and final week, participants will return for additional cream treatment
sessions, imaging studies, blood draws, and other tests as directed by the study
- Study participation will end in the following week (week 5). Subjects will come for a
final visit one month after the end of the study.