Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Arterial disease in chronic leg ulceration: an underestimated hazard? Lothian and Forth Valley leg ulcer study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 11 April 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:929
  1. M J Callam,
  2. D R Harper,
  3. J J Dale,
  4. C V Ruckley


    Six hundred patients with chronic leg ulcers were interviewed and examined for evidence of arterial impairment. There were 827 ulcerated legs. Pedal pulses could not be felt in 94 (11%). A Doppler resting pressure index of 0.9 or less was found in 176 legs (21%). Risk factors for arterial impairment included age, ulceration affecting the foot, and a history of claudication, ischaemic heart disease, or cerebrovascular disease. Roughly half the patients with arterial impairment also showed the clinical features of chronic venous insufficiency. Careful assessment for arterial disease is mandatory before patients with chronic leg ulcers are treated with elastic compression.