Below-the-ankle arterial disease severely impairs the outcomes of diabetic patients with ischemic foot ulcers.


Diabetic Foot Unit, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To evaluate the impact of below-the-ankle (BTA) arterial disease in people with ischemic diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs).
METHODS : Patients with ischemic DFUs treated by a pre-set limb salvage protocol including peripheral revascularization were included. They were divided in two groups according to the involvement of BTA arteries (BTA+) or not (BTA-). Not healing, minor amputation, major amputation and mortality have been evaluated as primary outcome. Revascularization failure has been evaluated as secondary outcome.
RESULTS : The study group was composed of 272 patients, 120 (44.1%) belonging to BTA+ group and 152 (55.9%) to BTA-. After 1 year of follow-up the outcomes for BTA+ and BTA- were respectively: not healing (40.8 vs 17.8%, p < 0.0001), minor amputation (80.8 vs 20.4%, p < 0.0001), major amputation (18.3 vs 6.6%, p = 0.002), mortality (16.7% vs 10.5%, p = 0.001). The rate of revascularization failure was respectively 38.3 vs 11.2%, p < 0.0001. At the multivariate analysis BTA arterial disease resulted an independent predictor of not healing [OR 3.5 (CI 95% 2.3-6.1) p = 0.0001], minor amputation [OR 3.1 (1.5-5.9) p < 0.0001] and revascularization failure [OR 3.5 (1.9-6.3) p = 0.0001]. BTA+ patients with successful BTA revascularization showed lower rate of not healing (37.8 vs 89.1%) p < 0.0001, minor amputation (74.3 vs 91.3%) p = 0.002 and major amputation (8.1 vs 34.8%) p = 0.0003 in comparison to patients with unsuccessful BTA revascularization.
CONCLUSIONS : BTA arterial disease severely impairs the outcomes of diabetics with ischemic foot ulcers. BTA revascularization reduces the rate of not healing, minor and major amputation.


Amputation,Diabetes,Diabetic foot ulcers,Peripheral arterial disease,Revascularization,