Introduction: Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is dreaded and one of the most intricate medical conditions in diabetes. Improving the healing of DFU is imperative for improved patient outcomes. To consider a biomarker of comprehensive value to patients and health care professionals, it should be cost effective, user friendly, reliable, acceptable, and it should be transferable among various health care settings. We aimed to assess 2 such potential factors: wound surface pH and wound surface temperature as a predictor of healing in DFU.
Methods: DFU patients (n = 54) were assessed in terms of non-healing while evaluating them routinely. The patient’s wound was examined every week till 4 weeks or complete healing, whichever was earlier, and was given a score according to leg ulcer measurement tool (LUMT). Temperature of wounds was measured by “handheld Infrared thermometer” at room temperature. Wound surface pH was measured by handheld Potentiometric pH meter. All these parameters were compared with healing status of the wound which was assessed clinically with the LUMT score.
Results: Wound surface temperature values ranged from 89-92°F (baseline) and 84-88°F (week 4), Leg ulcer measurement tool (LUMT) score was ranging from 43-56 (baseline) and 12-29 (week 4) and wound surface pH was ranging from 7.40-8.10 (baseline) and 7.20-7.40 (week 4). However, correlation studies among them were statistically insignificant.
Conclusion: The possible advantages offered by objective, chair side methods for quick, precise, and sensitive monitoring of wound healing status, suggest that this process will become an important tool in wound healing surveillance and clinical decision making in resolution of non-healing of DFU in future.