Routine bacterial culture of proximal bone specimens during minor amputation in patients with DFI has little clinical utility in predicting re-operation or healing @ALPSlimb #ActAgainstAmputation #DiabeticFoot

Bone cultures? Clean margins for pathology? Both? These data from Voon and colleagues add more fuel to the discussion

Background: Trans-phalangeal and trans-metatarsal amputation, collectively termed ‘minor amputations’ are important procedures for managing infections of diabetes-related foot ulcers (DFU). Following minor amputation, international guidelines recommend a prolonged course of antibiotics if residual infected bone on intra-operative bone samples are identified, but the quality of the evidence underpinning these guidelines is low. In this study, we examined the concordance of microbiological results from proximal bone cultures compared to results from superficial wound swabs in relation to patient outcomes; with the aim of determining the utility of routinely obtaining marginal bone specimens.Methods: Data was retrospectively collected on 144 individuals who underwent minor amputations for infected DFU at a large Australian tertiary hospital. Concordance was identified for patients with both superficial wound swabs and intra-operative bone samples available. Patient outcomes were monitored up to 6 months post-amputation. The primary outcome was complete healing at 6 months; and secondary outcome measures included further surgery and death. Mann Whitney U testing was performed for bivariate analyses of continuous variables, Chi-Squared testing used for categorical variables and a logistic regression was performed with healing as the dependent variable.Results: A moderate-high degree of concordance was observed between microbiological samples, with 38/111 (35%) of patients having discordant wound swab and bone sample microbiology. Discordant results were not associated with adverse outcomes (67.2% with concordant results achieved complete healing compared with 68.6% patients with discordant results; P = 0.89). Revascularisation during admission (0.37 [0.13-0.96], P = 0.04) and amputation of the 5th ray (0.45 [0.21-0.94], P = 0.03) were independent risk factors for non-healing.Conclusion: There was a moderate-high degree of concordance between superficial wound swab results and intra-operative bone sample microbiology in this patient cohort. Discordance was not associated with adverse outcomes. These results suggest there is little clinical utility in routinely collecting proximal bone as an adjunct to routine wound swabs for culture during minor amputation for an infected DFU.

Routine bacterial culture of proximal bone specimens during minor amputation in patients with diabetes-related foot infections has little clinical utility in predicting re-operation or ulcer healing – PubMed

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