Leg ulcers are a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.
ABSTRACT Leg ulcers are common. They cause a substantial burden to the patient and society. However, there is no need for therapeutic nihilism. The target of leg ulcer therapy is the individual patient. To be treated in a rational and successful way, exact diagnosis of the underlying cause(s) and associated diseases is necessary. This can be done in the most effective way with an interdisciplinary approach. The collection of cases demonstrates the need for careful clinical investigation substantiated and supported by vascular, histopathologic, and microbiologic techniques whenever needed. It is difficult to heal every ulcer completely, but improvement of the medical situation as well as the quality of life of the patient is possible in most cases.
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ABSTRACT: We report on a 74-year-old female patient with a primary cutaneous CD20+, diffuse large cell B-cell lymphoma of the lower leg resembling a chronic non-healing leg ulcer. There was no evidence of systemic involvement on computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis; a slightly enlarged lymph node in the right groin showed dermatopathic lymphadenopathy on histology and immunohistochemistry. Involvement of the bone marrow and peripheral blood was ruled out by punch biopsy and fluorescent activated cell sorter (FACS) analysis of the blood, respectively. Therapeutic anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab was given at 375 mg m(-2) i.v. once weekly for 7 weeks, without adverse effects, resulting in a minor improvement in the centre of the ulcerated tumour. Unfortunately, the response was not maintained, and after 7 weeks of treatment the patient started to develop new tumour lesions at the border of the ulcer. Local radiotherapy was started and combined photon and electron beam irradiation induced complete remission of the B-cell lymphoma.British Journal of Dermatology 02/2002; 146(1):144-7. · 3.76 Impact Factor
Article: Leg ulcers of unusual causes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this review, unusual causes of leg ulcers are examined with an emphasis on pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and epidemiology. Cutaneous ulcers due to malignancy of unusual leg ulcers with hematologic disorders, vasculitis, sarcoidosis, calciphylaxis, Buerger's disease, and pyoderma gangrenosum are discussed.The International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds 01/2004; 2(4):207-16. · 1.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Calciphylaxis, a disorder of calcium-phosphate metabolism that can result in arterial calcification, skin and solid organ calcium deposits, and nonhealing ulcerations, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although its most common cause is secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with renal failure, vascular surgeons are frequently called on to evaluate these nonhealing extremity wounds. We reviewed our experience of a multidisciplinary approach in treating patients with calciphylaxis and nonhealing ulcers. Over a 14-month period at a tertiary center, five patients were seen with calciphylaxis and nonhealing leg wounds. Demographics, disease characteristics, surgical treatment, and outcomes were analyzed. All five patients were black women aged 40 +/- 8.9 years with hypertensive renal failure undergoing long-term hemodialysis (80 +/- 43 months). They had large, painful lower extremity wounds or necrotic ulcers (mean size, 135 cm(2)) that had developed over 2 to 4 months. Three patients had palpable pedal pulses, one patient had Doppler pedal signals, and one patient had absent pedal flow. Arteriogram was performed in the latter two patients, and one patient underwent lower extremity revascularization because of superficial femoral artery stenosis with symptomatic improvement. Four patients underwent aggressive debridement by the vascular surgical service, and two needed plastic surgeon-performed skin grafting. All patients had elevated parathyroid hormone levels (mean, 1735 pg/mL; > 25 x normal level); mean preoperative calcium levels were normal (10 mg/dL). After either subtotal (n = 4) or total (n = 1) parathyroidectomy by an experienced endocrine surgeon, a significant reduction in parathyroid hormone and calcium levels was seen (122 pg/mL and 7.9 mg/dL, respectively; P <.05). There were no postoperative complications or amputations; one patient died 12 months after parathyroidectomy of severe preexisting cardiopulmonary disease. Complete wound healing was observed by 4.8 +/- 2 months. During a mean follow-up period of 9 months (range, 1 to 18 months), all wounds remained healed without ulcer recurrence. The diagnosis of calciphylaxis should be considered in patients with end-stage renal disease with atypical tissue necrosis or subcutaneous nodules. Early recognition of calciphylaxis and multidisciplinary treatment, including diligent wound care, frequent debridement, parathyroidectomy, and appropriate skin grafting or revascularization, can result in improved wound healing and limb salvage.Journal of Vascular Surgery 03/2003; 37(3):501-7. · 2.88 Impact Factor