Influence of infection on clinical picture of diabetic foot syndrome.
The aim of our study was to analyse the foot infections in diabetic patients. We analysed foot ulcerations in 124 diabetics who attended outpatient foot clinic, or were hospitalized in the period from 1996 to 2006. Basic neuropathy screening examination was made with cotton wisp, pin-prick, tuning fork, and monofilament. For evaluation of leg ischemia, besides the evaluation of the presence of pedal pulses, the ankle-brachial pressure index was measured. If the infection of foot ulceration was clinically present, bacteriology examinations was performed. In the case of deep wound infection, x-ray examination was made. If bone destruction was present, osteomyelitis was diagnosed by technecium bone scanning and by technecium-labelled leukocyte scan. Deformation and destruction of the bone without infection was appoited as Charcot neuroarthropathy. Foot ulcer infection was found in 58 % diabetic patients, wounds were more often deep (80 %). Infection was not associated with special location of foot ulcer. Two-third of the total infected wounds were associated with leg ischemia and 30.6 % of infected ulcer ended with leg amputation. More foot ulcer infections were found in the diabetics with HbAlc over 8 %. Infection was coupled with diabetic retinopathy (in 63 % patients) (p=0.023), and also with diabetic nephropathy (in 66 % patients) (p=0.012). Bacteriology examination revealed most often Staphylococci (45.8 %), antibiotic therapy was made most often with chinolones. Osteomyelitis was present in 34.7 % of foot ulcer infections. In 14 diabetics (56 %) after antibiotic therapy it was not necessary to perform a leg amputation. HbAlc seems to be a significant predictor of osteomyelitis (p<0.02; OR=1.76). In conclusion, we confirmed that diabetic foot infections, especially on ischemic leg, in diabetics with poor metabolic control and chronic diabetic microvascular complications, are associated with a higher risk of leg amputations. Further, it is possible to cure osteomyelitis successfully without surgery in more than half the cases (Tab. 1, Ref. 24). Full Text in free PDF www.bmj.sk.