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Prevalence of Lower-Extremity Arterial Calcification in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus Complicated by Foot Disease at an Urban US Tertiary-Care Center

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  • 1 Temple University Hospital Podiatric Surgical Residency Program, Philadelphia, PA.
  • | 2 Department of Podiatric Surgery, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.
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Background:

We sought to determine the prevalence of lower-extremity arterial calcification in a cohort of patients with diabetes and associated foot pathology receiving inpatient treatment at an urban US tertiary health-care system.

Methods:

The primary outcome measure was defined as either radiographic evidence of vessel calcification or noninvasive vascular testing that resulted in any reporting of vessel noncompressibility or an ankle-brachial index greater than 1.1. Radiographic evidence of vessel calcification was defined as radiodense calcification in the proximal first intermetatarsal space (deep plantar perforating artery), anterior ankle (anterior tibial artery), or posterior ankle (posterior tibial artery) on dorsoplantar and lateral foot projections.

Results:

Of the 367 individuals included in the study, 359 underwent radiography, with radiographic evidence of calcification in 192 (53.5%). Noninvasive vascular testing was performed on 265 participants, with any reporting of noncompressibility or an ankle-brachial index greater than 1.1 observed in 153 (57.7%). Ninety-four participants (25.6%) demonstrated evidence of arterial calcification on the radiographs and noninvasive testing, meaning that 251 participants (68.4%) demonstrated evidence of arterial calcification on at least one test, including 63.6% of participants classified as black/African American race, 65.4% as white race, and 78.3% as Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.

Conclusions:

The results of this investigation increase the body of knowledge with respect to the evaluation and treatment of diabetic foot disease and may lead to future investigations on the topic of lower-extremity arterial calcification.

Corresponding author: Andrew J. Meyr, DPM, Department of Podiatric Surgery, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, 8th at Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. (E-mail: ajmeyr@gmail.com)