Research Article

Venous leg ulcers: a prognostic index to predict time to healing.

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: (Published 07 November 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:1119
  1. A. I. Skene,
  2. J. M. Smith,
  3. C. J. Doré,
  4. A. Charlett,
  5. J. D. Lewis
  1. Department of Vascular Surgery, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex.


    OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the prognostic factors in uncomplicated venous leg ulcer healing. DESIGN--Randomised parallel group controlled trial with subjects stratified by initial ulcer diameter and four months' maximum duration of follow up. SETTING--Assessment at Northwick Park Hospital vascular unit with community based treatment. PATIENTS--200 patients with clinical and objective evidence of uncomplicated venous leg ulceration and an initial ulcer diameter > 2 cm. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Time to complete healing of the ulcer. RESULTS--In the presence of graduated compression healing occurred more rapidly in patients with a smaller initial ulcer area (relative risk of healing 1.92 associated with halving of ulcer area (95% confidence interval 1.58 to 2.33)), shorter duration of ulceration (relative risk 1.35 associated with halving duration (1.17 to 1.56)), younger age (relative risk 1.34 associated with 10 year decrease (1.12 to 1.59)), and no deep vein involvement (relative risk 1.8 (1.19 to 2.78)). CONCLUSION--These prognostic factors used in a simple scoring system predict time to healing.