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The Association between Foot and Ulcer Microcirculation Measured with Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging and Healing of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diagnosis of peripheral artery disease in people with diabetes and a foot ulcer using current non-invasive blood pressure measurements is challenging. Laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is a promising non-invasive technique to measure cutaneous microcirculation. This study investigated the association between microcirculation (measured with both LSCI and non-invasive blood pressure measurement) and healing of diabetic foot ulcers 12 and 26 weeks after measurement. We included sixty-one patients with a diabetic foot ulcer in this prospective, single-center, observational cohort-study. LSCI scans of the foot, ulcer, and ulcer edge were conducted, during baseline and post-occlusion hyperemia. Non-invasive blood pressure measurement included arm, foot, and toe pressures and associated indices. Healing was defined as complete re-epithelialization and scored at 12 and 26 weeks. We found no significant difference between patients with healed or non-healed foot ulcers for both types of measurements (p = 0.135-0.989). ROC curves demonstrated moderate sensitivity (range of 0.636-0.971) and specificity (range of 0.464-0.889), for LSCI and non-invasive blood pressure measurements. Therefore, no association between diabetic foot ulcer healing and LSCI-measured microcirculation or non-invasive blood pressure measurements was found. The healing tendency of diabetic foot ulcers is difficult to predict based on single measurements using current blood pressure measurements or LSCI.

Keywords: diabetes complications; diabetes mellitus; foot ulcer; laser speckle contrast imaging; microcirculation; peripheral artery disease; wound healing.

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