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J Fam Pract. 1993 Jun;36(6):625-32.

Full-thickness leg ulcers: patient demographics and predictors of healing. Multi-Center Leg Ulcer Study Group.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite increased knowledge about the immediate and underlying causes of chronic leg ulcers, their management remains a challenge. Some ulcers rapidly respond to treatment whereas others do not, and the decision to reassess the patient and treatment modality is usually based on the clinician's own experience.

METHODS:

Following diagnosis of the underlying cause of leg ulcers, 181 patients were screened. The use of a hydrocolloid dressing (DuoDERM) was evaluated in the treatment of 61 patients with 72 full-thickness ulcers. Patient characteristics associated with deep wounds as well as patient and wound characteristics predictive of the extent of healing and time required for healing were identified.

RESULTS:

Patients with full-thickness ulcers were more likely to be overweight (P < .001) and not fully mobile (P = .016). During a mean treatment time of 56 days, 54% of the full-thickness ulcers healed. Ulcers were less likely to heal if the patients were men (P = .02) or had diabetes mellitus (P < .003). A > 30% reduction in ulcer area after 2 weeks of treatment was a predictor of both treatment outcome (P = .016) and time required for healing (P = .004). Odor at baseline and advanced age also were associated with increased time required for healing (P = .005 and .017, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Noninvasive clinical assessments can aid the clinician in predicting treatment outcome and may facilitate the decision to change therapy and evaluate treatment compliance.

PMID:
8505605
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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