Soft tissue infection in a diabetic foot with an ulcer is often clinically obvious but the
diagnosis of osteomyelitis underlying a diabetic foot ulcer is challenging. It has been
calculated that there are over 1 million amputations worldwide for diabetes related
complications every year, many preceded by an ulcer complicated by osteomyelitis.
This research encompasses two studies attempting to add to the ways in which
osteomyelitis is diagnosed.
The first was examining the role of inflammatory blood markers in recognising and
separating ulcers with cutaneous infection from both suspected and proven
osteomyelitis. The response of the body to produce these markers when an injury
occurs is well known but arguments exist as to the capacity of the individual with
diabetes to do so. Despite the recognition and allowance for common confounding
factors no trend was found. This study may have been more difficult than originally
thought due to the many interactions of the diseased state of diabetes, the drugs used
to control it and the many other confounders that would have influenced the
inflammatory process and as such the level of the markers.
The second study was comparing a new form of scanning technique (SPECT/CT) to
the technique most commonly used as a ‘gold standard’ – MRI. The results of each
type of scan were compared to the clinical diagnosis and each other. The SPECT/CT
scan appears to show some good results and may be a more suitable scan for
individuals who are unable to have a MRI for example due to the need to introduce a
renally excreted drug to help make the images clearer but it does mean introducing a
small amount of radiation into the individual.
|Date of Award||1 Mar 2010|
|Supervisor||Gordon Taylor (Supervisor)|
- inflammatory blood markers
- diabetic foot