Nigerian Medical Journal

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Risk factors, ulcer grade and management outcome of diabetic foot ulcers in a Tropical Tertiary Care Hospital

Andrew E Edo, Gloria O Edo, Ignatius U Ezeani


Background: The objective was to determine the risk factors, ulcer grade, and management outcome of patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) managed in a tropical tertiary hospital. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective observational study of all consecutive diabetes mellitus (DM) patients with DFU admitted in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria over a 26-month period. Data documented included age, gender, type of DM, duration of DM, risk factors of DFU, duration of DFU, Wagner’s ulcer grade, and the blood glucose at presentation and management outcome. Results: Thirty-four (55.7%) of the 61 study subjects were females. Their mean age was 56.29±12.71 years. 85.2% had type 2 DM. 13.1% of the patients were newly diagnosed diabetic at presentation. The mean duration of DM was 7.8±6.98 years. The mean duration of DFU was 46.09±47.82 days and the casual blood glucose level at presentation was 18.41±9.31mmol/l. Risk factors of DFU included spontaneous blisters (52.46%), peripheral vascular disease (44.3%), peripheral neuropathy (42.6%), and visual impairment (21.3%). The common ulcer grades were IV (44.3%) and III (36.1%).The amputation rate was 52.2% while the mortality rate was 14.3%.The baseline ulcer grade was significantly associated with the risk of lower extremity amputation, and the odds ratio was 2.36 (95% 1.06-5.21). Conclusions: Spontaneous blisters, peripheral vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy,and visual impairment are common risk factors of DFUs. Many of our patients with DFUs presented with grade IV and V ulcers with the resultant high rate of lower extremity amputations (LEAs). Early presentation and treatment of DFUs will reduce LEAs.

Keywords: Diabetic foot ulcer, lower extremity amputation, Wagner’s grading

Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 54 | Issue 1 | January-February | 2013
AJOL African Journals Online