The timely and accurate noninvasive assessment of peripheral arterial disease is a critical component of a limb preservation initiative in patients with diabetes mellitus. Noninvasive vascular studies can be useful in screening patients with diabetes for peripheral arterial disease. In patients with clinical signs or symptoms, noninvasive vascular studies provide crucial information on the presence, location, and severity of peripheral arterial disease and an objective assessment of the potential for primary healing of an index wound or a surgical incision. Appropriately selected noninvasive vascular studies are important in the decision-making process to determine whether and what type of intervention might be most appropriate given the clinical circumstances. Hemodynamic monitoring is likewise important after either an endovascular procedure or a surgical bypass. Surveillance studies, usually with a combination of physiologic testing and imaging with duplex ultrasound, accurately identify recurrent disease before the occurrence of thrombosis, allowing targeted reintervention. Noninvasive vascular studies can be broadly grouped into three general categories: physiologic or hemodynamic measurements, anatomical imaging, and measurements of tissue perfusion. These types of tests and suggestions for their appropriate application in patients with diabetes are reviewed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 406–411, 2010)
A 66-year-old man was admitted to a hospital rehabilitation unit for the management of chronic groin pain. Since the groin pain began, he had been unable to bear weight on his right foot. During a podiatric examination, the patient reported sharp pain at the apex of his right hallux. A full podiatric assessment was undertaken to evaluate his vascular, neurologic, and biomechanical status. The patient’s ankle-brachial index was found to be 0.34 in the right lower limb and 0.68 in the left lower limb. After vascular assessment, the patient was diagnosed as having chronic ischemia of the right leg. He underwent left-to-right femoral-to-femoral bypass graft surgery to salvage the right lower leg and foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(5): 402–404, 2007)
Capillary hemangiomas are benign, vascular lesions of skin and mucous membranes that often occur in infancy and childhood. Capillary hemangiomas are most commonly found in the head and neck region. Capillary hemangiomas that occur in adults and on the lower extremities are uncommon. A clinical case involving surgical treatment of the lesion on an adult foot is presented. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(3): 155-157, 2002)
Acroangiodermatitis (AAD), also known as pseudo-Kaposi's sarcoma, is an uncommon benign angioproliferative condition most commonly seen in the lower extremities. This condition often presents as discolored patches that progress to painful ulcerations. The list of vascular conditions associated with this diagnosis is vast. Acroangiodermatitis presents similarly to more aggressive conditions such as Kaposi's sarcoma, making histopathologic examination helpful in its diagnosis. We present two cases of AAD in the setting of chronic venous insufficiency.
The objective of this investigation was to determine the level of agreement between a systematic clinical Doppler examination of the foot and ankle and diagnostic peripheral angiography.
The described Doppler examination technique attempted to determine the patency, quality, and direction of the flow through the dorsalis pedis artery, posterior tibial artery, terminal branches of the peroneal artery, and vascular arch of the foot. These results were then compared with angiographic distal run-off images as interpreted by a blinded vascular surgeon.
Levels of agreement with respect to artery patency/quality ranged from 64.0% to 84.0%. Sensitivity ranged from 53.8% to 84.2%, and specificity ranged from 64.7% to 91.7%. Agreement with respect to arterial flow direction ranged from 73.3% to 90.5%.
We interpret these results to indicate that this comprehensive physical examination technique of the arterial flow to the foot and ankle with a Doppler device might serve as a reasonable initial surrogate to diagnostic angiography in some patients with peripheral arterial disease.
The Role of Interdisciplinary Team Approach in the Management of the Diabetic Foot
A Joint Statement from the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Podiatric Medical Association
The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recognize the beneficial impact of a multidisciplinary team approach on the care of patients with critical limb ischemia, especially in the diabetic population. As a first step in identifying clinical issues and questions important to both memberships, and to work together to find solutions that will benefit the shared patient, the two organizations appointed a representative group to write a joint statement on the importance of multidisciplinary team approach to the care of the diabetic foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 309–311, 2010)
Toe amputation is the most common partial foot amputation. Controversy exists regarding whether to primarily close toe amputations or to leave them open for secondary healing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the results of closed toe amputations in diabetic patients, with respect to wound healing, complications, and the need for further higher level amputation.
We retrospectively reviewed the results of 40 elective or semi-elective toe amputations with primary closure performed in 35 patients treated in a specialized diabetic foot unit. Patients with abscesses or necrotizing fasciitis were treated emergently and were excluded. Patients in whom clean margins could not be achieved due to extensive cellulitis or tenosynovitis and patients requiring vascular intervention were excluded as well. Outcome endpoints included wound healing at 3 weeks, delayed wound healing, or subsequent higher level amputation.
Out of 40 amputations, 38 healed well. Thirty amputations healed by the time of stitch removal at 3 weeks and eight had delayed healing. In two patients the wounds did not heal and subsequent higher level amputation was eventually required.
In carefully selected diabetic foot patients, primary closure of toe amputations is a safe surgical option. We do not recommend primary closure when infection control is not achieved or in patients requiring vascular reconstruction. Careful patient selection, skillful assessment of debridement margins and meticulous technique are required and may be offered by experienced designated surgeons in a specialized diabetic foot unit.