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Diagnostic Tests for Foot ulcer

Diagnostic Test list for Foot ulcer:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Foot ulcer includes:

  • Examine the ulcer
    • Site of ulcer - e.g. venous ulcers are usually found on the inner side of the lower third of the leg, but may occur lower down on the foot; arterial ulcers are found on the tips of the toes and over pressure areas; neuropathic ulcers occur over pressure areas.
    • Shape and size
    • Edge of the ulcer - e.g. the edge of a venous ulcer is usually sloping and pale purplish-blue in color; malignant change in a chronic venous ulcer causes a raised and thickened edge; syphilitic ulcer has a punched out edge; tuberculous ulcer has an undermined edge.
    • Base - e.g. venous ulcer is usually covered by granulation tissue ( area of new vessel growth) and white fibrous tissue; arterial ulcers usually have no granulation tissue; syphilitic ulcers have a base that looks like leather.
    • Depth of ulcer - e.g. venous ulcers are usually shallow and flat; arterial ulcers are often very deep and may penetrate down to bone and underlying joints; neuropathic ulcers are usually deep penetrating ulcers.
    • Note amount and type of discharge from the ulcer - e.g. clear, bloody, pus-like, offensive, copious , slight.
  • Physical examination
    • Examine the whole leg for varicose veins (which may suggest venous ulceration as the cause of foot ulcer
    • Examine lower leg for signs of chronic venous hypertension which indicates the presence of disordered venous blood flow - e.g. pigmentation, warmth, redness and tenderness.
    • Examine the lower leg for signs of peripheral vascular disease which may indicate an the cause of the ulcer is due to an inadequate blood supply - e.g. skin pallor, coldness and lack of hair.
    • Examine the lower leg for signs of peripheral neuropathy - e.g. lack of sensation over the surrounding skin.
    • Palpate the peripheral pulses in the leg. If pulses are absent may indicate that the ulcer is due to inadequate arterial blood supply
    • Examine the groin lymph nodes for enlargement which may indicate infection of an ulcer or malignant change in the ulcer
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count to detect anemia
    • Blood sugar (may diagnose undetected diabetes which can predispose to both arterial or venous ulcers)
    • Syphilis serology if suspected
    • Rheumatoid factor, ANA antibodies, ENA antibodies, dsDNA antibodies, antinuclear and anticentromere antibodies to diagnose possible causes of Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Swab of any discharge form the ulcer if present
  • Skin biopsy around the edge of the ulcer - if suspect cancer.
  • Ankle brachial index - a quick screening test for peripheral vascular disease.
  • Radiological investigations
    • Doppler ultrasound scan can help define the severity of peripheral vascular disease
    • Arteriography can define the site and degree of arterial obstruction in peripheral vascular disease

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Foot ulcer:

The following list of conditions have 'Foot ulcer' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Foot ulcer:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Foot ulcer' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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