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Diabet Med. 2015 Jun;32(6):738-47. doi: 10.1111/dme.12749. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Diagnosis and assessment of peripheral arterial disease in the diabetic foot.

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St George's Vascular Institute, London, UK.
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.


Approximately half of all patients with a diabetic foot ulcer have co-existing peripheral arterial disease. Identifying peripheral arterial disease among patients with foot ulceration is important, given its association with failure to heal, amputation, cardiovascular events and increased risk of premature mortality. Infection, oedema and neuropathy, often present with ulceration, may adversely affect the performance of diagnostic tests that are reliable in patients without diabetes. Early recognition and expert assessment of peripheral arterial disease allows measures to be taken to reduce the risk of amputation and cardiovascular events, while determining the need for revascularization to promote ulcer healing. When peripheral arterial disease is diagnosed, the extent of perfusion deficit should be measured. Patients with a severe perfusion deficit, likely to affect ulcer healing, will require further imaging to define the anatomy of disease and indicate whether a revascularization procedure is appropriate.

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