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Arch Dermatol. 1999 Aug;135(8):920-6.

Risk factors associated with the failure of a venous leg ulcer to heal.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Center for Clinical Epidemiology, and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104, USA. dmargoli@cceb.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Venous leg ulcers afflict a significant portion of the population. The most popular form of therapy for venous leg ulcers is a compression bandage (eg, Unna boot), a therapy that is frequently unsuccessful.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe risk factors associated with the failure of a wound to heal when treated with a limb-compression bandage for 24 weeks.

DESIGN:

A retrospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Single-center outpatient specialty clinic at an academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Two hundred sixty consecutive patients with chronic venous leg ulcers.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The magnitude of the effect of a given risk factor on the probability that a wound will heal within 24 weeks of care.

RESULTS:

Based on an assessment of leg wounds during initial office visits, we observed that the failure of a wound to heal within 24 weeks was significantly associated with larger wound area, measured in square centimeters (odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-1.27), duration of the wound in months (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.04-1.16), history of venous ligation or venous stripping (OR, 4.58; 95% CI, 1.84-11.36), history of hip or knee replacement surgery (OR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.12-11.08), ankle brachial index of less than 0.80 (OR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.12-11.08), and the presence of fibrin on more than 50% of the wound surface (OR, 3.42; 95% CI, 1.38-8.45).

CONCLUSIONS:

Several risk factors are associated with the failure of a patient's venous leg ulcer to heal while using limb-compression therapy. It is prudent to consider these factors when referring a patient to a wound care subspecialists or for alternative therapies.

PMID:
10456340
DOI:
10.1001/archderm.135.8.920
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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