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Q J Med. 1989 Nov;73(271):1005-14.

Factors influencing the outcome of treatment of foot lesions in Nigerian patients with diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Chemical Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


A prospective cross-sectional study of 84 foot lesions in 50 diabetic patients was done in a Nigerian teaching hospital over a three-year period (1982-1984) to assess factors that may influence the choice of treatment and treatment outcome. Age, gender, duration of diabetes, mode of treatment of diabetes and tobacco smoking did not influence whether or not a diabetic with a foot lesion will have major amputation, an unsatisfactory outcome of primary treatment, prolonged hospital stay or will die. Similarly, the presence of foot infections alone, microangiopathy (nephropathy, retinopathy), foot ischaemia alone or neuropathy alone had no relationship to poor prognostic indices. However, when these complications appeared in concert (neuropathy, ischaemia and infection) and when, at presentation, there was associated systemic disease (as shown by anaemia and leucocytosis), severe fasting hyperglycaemia, evident bone destruction and anaerobic superinfection, the outcome of treatment was adverse. In addition, hypertension and infection of the foot were related to need for major amputation. Poor long-term control did not influence prognosis adversely. We therefore suggest that the high morbidity seen with diabetic foot lesions could be reduced by optimizing glycaemic control, using combination antibiotic chemotherapy, vigorously correcting anaemia and encouraging early presentation of even mild lesions before underlying bone disease supervenes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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