The need for a timely diagnostic workup for patients with venous leg ulcers

Carina C. E. G. Pernot*, Ineke Zwiers, Arina J. ten Cate-Hoek, Cees H. A. Wittens

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective: To explore the need for an extended diagnostic workup in patients with venous leg ulcers (VLUs) and to establish the prevalence of the underlying causes of VLU.

Method: This retrospective cohort study analysed data from patients with VLU. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used for pain assessment. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) was measured to exclude patients with arterial pathology. A duplex was performed. All patients received a wound treatment plan and ambulatory compression therapy. Continuous variables were presented as mean +/- standard deviation (SD) or median and interquartile range (IQR). Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis were used. When normally distributed, an independent sample t-test was used.

Results: A total of 70 patients were recruited. Of these, 18 (25.7%) experienced a VLU once and 52 (74.3%) had a recurrent VLU. Treatment of the underlying lesions was performed in almost 30% of patients. Patients who were treated showed almost two times slower healing rates compared with those who were not treated for an underlying pathology. The mean time in patient referral exceeded two years, and patients who did not see their GP were treated by nurses who did not provide regular feedback the GP; as a result, compression therapy was not always adequate.

Conclusion: Patients with a VLU showing no signs of healing after 2 months should be referred to a dedicated wound care centre to avoid delays.

Declaration of interest: The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-763
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Wound Care
Volume27
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • venous leg ulcer
  • chronic venous disorder
  • quality of life
  • compression
  • diagnostic evaluation
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • CEAP CLASSIFICATION
  • CONSENSUS STATEMENT
  • ULCERATION
  • DISEASE
  • VEIN
  • ABLATION
  • EXTENT
  • CARE

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