J Wound Manag Res.  2021 Feb;17(1):9-18. 10.22467/jwmr.2020.01368.

Using DIRECT Wound Assessment to Predict Limb Salvage and Provide Prognosis of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
Many wound assessment systems including the Wagner classification and University of Texas (UT) grading system have been previously described. The authors of this study applied the DIRECT (Debridement of necrosis, Infection control, Revascularization, Exudate control, Chronicity, and Top surface) wound coding system for initial assessment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) to predict limb salvage and prognosis.

Methods
From January 2016 to February 2020, a total of 169 first-time DFU patients were retrospectively evaluated using the DIRECT wound coding assessment system. DFUs were followed up for at least 6 months, and scores in each component of the coding system according to final limb status were statistically evaluated. The coding assessment’s ability to predict major amputation was compared to those of the Wagner classification and the UT grading system.

Results
Subjects were divided into complete healing (n=80, 47.3%), not healed (n=71, 42%), and amputation (n=18, 10.7%) groups. The mean values of each component of DIRECT assessment for the complete healing/amputation groups were D 0.86/1.56 (P<0.001), I 0.46/0.89 (P=0.001), R 0.65/0.94 (P=0.014), E 1.15/1.56 (P=0.049), C 0.69/0.89 (P=0.086), T 0.53/0.72 (P=0.13) and the sum was 3.140/4.741 (P<0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the DIRECT, Wagner, and UT grading systems was 0.722, 0.603, and 0.663, respectively.

Conclusion
The DIRECT coding system shows a greater association with prediction of amputation or complete healing, compared with the Wagner and UT wound classification systems. This more accurate wound assessment system will be helpful in predicting prognosis and planning treatments.

Keyword

Amputation; Diabetic foot; Limb salvage; Wound healing
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