We sought to evaluate the relationship between baseline hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level and clinical outcomes, including foot ulcer outcome (resolved versus unresolved) and wound-healing time, in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
A prospective observational study was conducted on 99 patients presenting with a diabetic foot ulceration. Patient and ulcer characteristics were recorded. Patients were followed up for a maximum of 1 year.
After 1 year of follow-up, 77% of ulcers healed and 23% did not heal. Although this study demonstrated that the baseline HbA1c reading was not a significant predictor of foot ulcer outcome (P = .603, resolved versus amputated), on further statistical analyses, when HbA1c was compared with the time taken for complete ulcer healing in the resolved group (n = 77), it proved to be significant (P = .009).
These findings have important implications for clinical practice, especially in an outpatient setting. Improving glycemic control may improve ulcer outcomes. Prediction of outcome may be helpful for health-care professionals in individualizing and optimizing clinical assessment and management of patients. Identification of determinants of outcome could result in improved health outcomes, improved quality of life, and fewer diabetes-related foot complications.
Background: It is hypothesized that moisture regulation specific to the area of contact results in local wound conditions more amenable to healing, which would result in faster and more frequent wound closure. TheraGauze is a new polymer-impregnated dressing designed to regulate moisture to a varying degree over the entire surface of a wound.
Methods: This prospective, randomized, multicenter study examined outcomes from treatment of diabetic foot ulcers with TheraGauze and TheraGauze in conjunction with becaplermin. We also compared these outcomes with historical data from the literature that used saline-moistened gauze and becaplermin.
Results: The rates of wound closure with TheraGauze and TheraGauze + becaplermin were 0.37 and 0.41 cm2/week, respectively (P = .34). The difference between these values was not statistically significant. We also observed high closure rates at 12 weeks (46.2% in both groups) and 20 weeks (61.5% with TheraGauze alone and 69.2% with TheraGauze + becaplermin). These data were also compared with historical data for closure rates (0.18 cm2/week) and percentage of wounds closed using saline-moistened gauze alone and becaplermin with saline-moistened gauze (0.24 cm2/week) from a variety of studies.
Conclusions: Wounds in which moisture content was regulated with TheraGauze showed more rapid change in wound area and a higher percentage of wounds achieving closure at 12 and 20 weeks regardless of whether becaplermin was used. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(3): 155–160, 2010)
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an adjunctive wound-healing modality receiving increasing use for problem wounds, particularly diabetic foot wounds. Nevertheless, few clinicians understand the physiologic basis for this modality; how patients are selected, or the expected results. The author reviews the development of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, selection of patients, and clinical studies of this modality for diabetic patients with foot wounds.
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a serious health problem. Major amputation increases the risk of mortality in patients with DFU; therefore, treatment methods other than major amputation come to the fore for these patients. Graft applications create an appropriate environment for the reproduction of epithelial cells. Similarly, epidermal growth factor (EGF) also stimulates epithelization and increases epidermis formation. In this study, we aimed to compare patients with DFU treated with EGF and those treated with a split-thickness skin graft.
Patients who were treated for DFU in the general surgery clinic were included in the study. The patients were evaluated retrospectively according to their demographic characteristics, wound characteristics, duration of treatment, and treatment modalities.
There were 26 patients in the EGF group and 21 patients in the graft group. The mean duration of treatment was 7 weeks (4-8 weeks) in the EGF group and 5.3 weeks (4-8 weeks) in the graft group (P < .05). In the EGF group, wound healing could not be achieved in one patient during the study period. In the graft group, no recovery was achieved in three patients (14.2%) in the donor site. Graft loss was detected in four patients (19%), and partial graft loss was observed in three patients (14.2%). The DFU of these patients were on the soles (85.7%). These patients have multiple comorbidities.
EGF application may be preferred to avoid graft complications in the graft area and the donor site, especially in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities and wounds on the soles.
Background: We sought to examine the economic value of specialized lower-extremity medical care by podiatric physicians in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers by evaluating cost outcomes for patients with diabetic foot ulcer who did and did not receive care from a podiatric physician in the year before the onset of a foot ulcer.
Methods: We analyzed the economic value among commercially insured patients and Medicare-eligible patients with employer-sponsored supplemental medical benefits using the MarketScan Databases. The analysis consisted of two parts. In part I, we examined cost or savings per patient associated with care by podiatric physicians using propensity score matching and regression techniques; in part II, we extrapolated cost or savings to populations.
Results: Matched and regression-adjusted results indicated that patients who visited a podiatric physician had $13,474 lower costs in commercial plans and $3,624 lower costs in Medicare plans during 2-year follow-up (P < .01 for both). A positive net present value of increasing the share of patients at risk for diabetic foot ulcer by 1% was found, with a range of $1.2 to $17.7 million for employer-sponsored plans and $1.0 to $12.7 million for Medicare plans.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that podiatric medical care can reduce the disease and economic burdens of diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 93–115, 2011)
Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are the most common cause of hospitalization for patients with diabetes. Studies have shown diabetic patients have high readmission rates. It is important to identify variables that contribute to readmission. This study aimed to investigate clinical variables associated with 30-day hospital readmission in patients with DFI.
We conducted a retrospective study of adults admitted to the hospital for DFI between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015. We identified patients by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes and randomly selected 35% of medical records for review. Patients were excluded if they did not have a DFI by review, were pregnant, or were incarcerated. The primary outcome was 30-day readmission. Data collected included baseline demographics, medical comorbidities, substance abuse, homelessness, tobacco use, and laboratory and surgical pathology data. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify independent predictors.
Of 140 included patients, 106 (76%) were male. Median age was 55 years and length of stay (LOS) was 7 days. In univariate analysis, 31 patients (22%) were readmitted in the 30 days after the index hospitalization. Factors associated with readmission included treatment failure, elevated C-reactive protein level, and hospital LOS (P < .05). In multivariate analyses, LOS and treatment failure were independent predictors of readmission.
The 30-day readmission rate for patients with DFI is high. Treatment failure, C-reactive protein, and LOS are independently associated with readmission. More work is needed to determine reasons for readmission so that appropriate measures can be taken before discharge.
Clinical recommendations for the prevention and healing of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are somewhat clear. However, assessment and quantification of the mechanical stress responsible for DFU remain complex. Different pressure variables have been described in the literature to better understand plantar tissue stress exposure. This article reviews the role of pressure and shear forces in the pathogenesis of plantar DFU.
We performed systematic searches of the PubMed and Embase databases, completed by a manual search of the selected studies. From 535 potentially relevant references, 70 studies were included in the full-text review.
Variables of plantar mechanical stress relate to vertical pressure, shear stress, and temporality of loading. At this time, in-shoe peak plantar pressure (PPP) is the only reliable variable that can be used to prevent DFU. Although it is a poor predictor of in-shoe PPP, barefoot PPP seems complementary and may be more suitable when evaluating patients with diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy who seem noncompliant with footwear. An in-shoe PPP threshold value of 200 kPa has been suggested to prevent DFU. Other variables, such as peak pressure gradient and peak maximal subsurface shear stress and its depth, seem to be of additional utility.
To better assess the at-risk foot and to prevent ulceration, the practitioner should integrate quantitative models of dynamic foot plantar pressures, such as in-shoe and barefoot PPPs, with the regular clinical screening examination. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate causality between other variables of mechanical stress and DFUs. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(4): 322–332, 2013)
Timothy Wu, Rabih A. Chaer, on behalf of the Society for Vascular Surgery Young Surgeons Committee, Nichol L. Salvo, and on behalf of the American Podiatric Medical Association Young Physicians' Leadership Panel
Both vascular surgeons and podiatric physicians care for patients with diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs), one of today's most challenging health-care populations in the United States. The prevalence of DFUs has steadily increased, along with the rising costs associated with care. Because of the numerous comorbidities affecting these patients, it is necessary to take a multidisciplinary approach in the management of these patients. Such efforts, primarily led by podiatric physicians and vascular surgeons, have been shown to effectively decrease major limb loss. Establishing an interprofessional partnership between vascular surgery and podiatric medicine can lead to an improvement in the delivery of care and outcomes of this vulnerable patient population.
Background: Neurologic screening tests are often used to identify and stratify patients at risk for diabetic foot complications such as infections, ulcers, and amputations. Two of the most commonly cited methods are the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament (SWM) for loss of protective sensation and vibratory sensation testing. The aim of this study was to determine whether combined SWM and the timed vibration test (TVT) more effectively predicts diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) development compared with each test alone.
Methods: An electronic medical record database search was performed restricted to podiatric medical clinic patients with diabetes and DFU ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Of 200 patients who met the criteria, 24 developed DFUs. A statistical analysis was performed comparing the SWM and TVT at various cutoff times and the combined SWM/TVT in their ability to predict DFUs.
Results: Statistical analysis revealed that the TVT cutoff time of less than 4 sec was superior to the other times for prediction of DFUs. The combined SWM/TVT results at less than 4 sec were superior to each test individually: sensitivity, 87.5%; specificity, 84.7%; positive predictive value, 43.8%; and receiver operating characteristics area under the curve, 0.86.
Conclusions: The SWM combined with TVT was shown to be superior compared with either test alone in discriminating DFU risk. In addition, the TVT cutoff time of less than 4 sec proved to have greater diagnostic yield than other times, including 0 sec. This unexpected finding might impact providers relying on the absence of vibration sensation via tuning fork testing as an optimal marker of DFU risk.
Background: Diabetic foot ulceration is a severe complication of diabetes characterized by chronic inflammation and impaired wound healing. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a medical device gel based on adelmidrol + trans-traumatic acid in the healing process of diabetic foot ulcers.
Methods: Thirty-seven diabetic patients with foot ulcers of mild/moderate grade were treated with the gel daily for 4 weeks on the affected area. The following parameters were evaluated at baseline and weekly: 1) wound area, measured by drawing a map of the ulcer and then calculated with photo editing software tools, and 2) clinical appearance of the ulcer, assessed by recording the presence/absence of dry/wet necrosis, infection, fibrin, neoepithelium, exudate, redness, and granulation tissue.
Results: Topical treatment led to progressive healing of diabetic foot ulcers with a significant reduction of the wound area and an improvement in the clinical appearance of the ulcers. No treatment-related adverse events were observed.
Conclusions: The results of this open-label study show the potential benefits of adelmidrol + trans-traumatic acid topical administration to promote reepithelialization of diabetic foot ulcers. Further studies are needed to confirm the observed results.