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Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2017 Jan;37(1):79-83. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12274. Epub 2015 Aug 17.

Heat-washout measurements compared to distal blood pressure and perfusion in orthopaedic patients with foot ulcers.

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Department of Geriatrics, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark.
Department of Orthopedics, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Physiology, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark.
Neurobiological Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Distal blood pressure and local skin perfusion pressure were compared to measurement of blood flow rate (BFR) measured by the heat-washout method in orthopaedic patients with and without diabetes, all with a foot ulcer in one foot, compared to healthy controls. The correlation was good between heat-washout and distal blood pressure in patients with diabetes with and without an ulcer (P = 0·024 and 0·059, respectively). The correlation was weak in patients without diabetes with and without an ulcer, most probably due to power problems (P = 0·118 and 0·116, respectively). The correlation in the healthy controls was poor (P = 0·333 and 0·685 for right and left 1. Toe, respectively) probably because not all measurements were performed under optimal conditions with maximally dilated arterioles and warm hands and feet. The patients already have maximally dilated arterioles to extract the maximal amount of oxygen from the surrounding tissue, and therefore, measurements are easier made in these subjects. BFR in the first toe increased significantly in all patients when the foot was moved from heart level to 50 cm below heart level (P = between 0·03 and 0·05) as previously seen in patients with claudication. There was no statistical difference in the healthy controls, consistent with previous findings. These results may indicate that the heat-washout method can be used as an alternative to strain gauge blood pressure in the evaluation of peripheral artery disease and wound healing potentials. Furthermore, the heat-washout measurements can be used bedside.


ateromatosis; ateroscleorsis; diabetes; distal blood pressure; foot ulcer

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