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Potential new treatment for non-freezing cold injury: is Iloprost the way forward?
  1. Anne-Marie Ionescu1,
  2. Sarah Hutchinson1,
  3. Mehtab Ahmad1 and
  4. Christopher Imray1,2
  1. 1 Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
  2. 2 Warwick Medical School, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anne-Marie Ionescu, 17 Wilhelmina Close, Leamington Spa, CV32 5JT, UK; anne-marie.ionescu{at}


Introduction 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.

  • non-freezing cold injury
  • cold weather injuries
  • hypothermia
  • iloprost

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  • Contributors A-MI, SH and MA were responsible for the literature review, writing and editing of the case report. CI acted as the supervisor to this case report.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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