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Presse Med. 2002 Mar 9;31(9):393-9.

[Are the principles of treatment of chronic osteitis applicable to the diabetic foot?].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service Universitaire Régional des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Dron, F59200 Tourcoing.



The interest of the management of bone infections in the diabetic foot, inspired by the recommendations for the treatment of chronic osteitis, was assessed in this study.


Twenty bone infections in 17 diabetic patients with moderate to mild infections of the feet were confirmed by the results of X-ray and/or scintigraphic studies and bone surgery biopsy cultures revealing one or more bacteria sensitive to standard osteitis treatment (rifampicine + fluoroquinolone). The patients had received this treatment per os for a median duration of 6 months (3 to 10 months). Clinical follow-up was carried out during a consultation at 1, 3 and 6 months during treatment and then by telephone every six months after the end of treatment. Clinical success was defined as the disappearance of any local sign of infection and by the absence of relapse during the post-treatment follow-up period. The evolution of the bone infection was also assessed by the results of a control conducted 3 to 6 months after initiation of the antibiotic treatment.


At the end of the treatment, all signs of infection had disappeared in 15/17 patients (88.2%) and no relapse had occurred in 14 (82.3%) patients at the end of a median post-treatment period of 22 months (12 to 41 months). Resection of necrotic bone was performed at the same time as the bone biopsy in 2 patients. The median duration of hospitalisation was of 14 days (3 to 53 days). During the study, a multi-resistant germ was isolated in 4 patients (1 Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 3 Staphylococcus aureus). During the post-treatment follow-up, 3 patients dies from causes unrelated to the infection treated. No serious adverse event was reported during the study.


The results of this pilot study support the rationale of applying the treatment regimens of chronic osteitis to diabetic lesions of the feet, but are only applicable to comparable patients presenting with non-severe lesions of the feet. Moreover, the use of antibiotics with potent selection of resistance such as rifampicine and fluoroquinolone, requires that bone biopsies be taken, which is not easy in all the diabetic foot care centres. We are presently conducting a study to identify the sub-populations of diabetic patients who could benefit from such treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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