Early and Intensive Glycemic Control for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Healing: A Prospective Observational Nested Cohort Study
July 19, 2021
Citation: Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2021 Jul 19 15347346211033458 [Epub ahead of print]

We aimed to assess the effect of glycemic control on diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) healing. A prospective nested cohort study was employed of individuals with poorly controlled diabetes (glycated hemoglobin [HbA 1c ]>9%) and neuropathic DFU of>2-week duration. All individuals received standard diabetes and ulcer interventions for 12 weeks. Baseline demographic characteristics, ulcer area (automated assessment by wound zoom camera), and biochemical parameters were analyzed. The cohort was stratified into ulcer healed and unhealed groups. Ulcer area and glycemic parameters at 4 and 12 weeks on follow up were compared. Forty-three individuals (47 DFU) with baseline HbA 1c 11.6% and ulcer area 9.87 cm 2 were enrolled. After 12 weeks, mean HbA 1c was 7.2%, 17 ulcers closed (healed group) and 30 ulcers did not close (unhealed group). The median time to ulcer healing was 10 weeks. Individuals in the healed group had lower fasting blood glucose ( P  = .010), postprandial blood glucose ( P  = .006), and HbA 1c at 4 weeks ( P  = .001), and 12 weeks (0.018) compared to the unhealed group. Cox-regression analysis that revealed lower baseline ulcer area ( P  = .013) and HbA 1c at 4 weeks ( P  = .009) significantly predicted DFU healing by 12 weeks. Baseline ulcer area of>10.58 cm 2 and HbA 1c at 4 weeks of>8.15% predicted delayed DFU healing. In conclusion, early and intensive glycemic control in the first 4 weeks of treatment initiation is associated with greater healing of DFU independent of initial ulcer area.