Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ostomy Wound Manage. 1996 Nov-Dec;42(10A Suppl):19S-35S.

The non-healing leg ulcer: peripheral vascular disease, chronic venous insufficiency, and ischemic vasculitis.

Author information

  • 1Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University Hospital/Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia, USA.


The non-healing leg ulcer is examined by discussing three disease processes: peripheral vascular occlusive disease (PVOD), chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), and vasculitis. For PVOD, management decisions are based on risk factors and disease history. Comprehensive management includes the discontinuation of smoking, exercise conditioning and regulation of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and the appropriate application of anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs. Methods of surgical management include bypass with autogenous or synthetic material in addition to reconstructive surgery with patch angioplasty or extra-anatomic bypass, amputation, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty/stents, thrombolytic infusion, atherectomy, intraluminal ultrasound, and angioscopy. The optimal healing environment for all ulcers prevents contamination, pain, and fluid loss. In CVI, higher venous pressure in the veins of the lower limb during exercise results in ambulatory venous hypertension and ulceration. Various theories are associated with the disease and ulceration process; the classic treatment of elevation, ambulation, and compression for venous disease remains unchallenged. Diagnosis is based on history, physical examination, invasive venography, and/or non-invasive studies. Two groups of vasculitic disorders that share varying degrees of vascular inflammation and necrosis are arteritis (lupus, erythematosus, periarteritis nodosa, dermatomyositis) and blood dyscrasias (sickle cell disease, thalassemia). Leg ulcers associated with vasculitis are due to inadequate tissue oxygenation at the local level, are typically chronic, slow to heal, and commonly recur.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center