The DEPA Scoring System and Its Correlation With the Healing Rate of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of a new scoring system in predicting the outcome of diabetic foot ulcers. The scoring system (DEPA score) includes the depth of the ulcer (D), the extent of bacterial colonization (E), the phase of ulcer healing (P) and the associated underlying etiology (A). The scoring system was validated against the clinical outcome in terms of healing and lower-limb amputations. Eighty-four patients were included in the study: 32 patients had a DEPA score of ≤6, 34 patients had a DEPA score of 7 to 9, and 18 patients had a DEPA score of ≥10. Using the Spearman nonparametric correlation test, DEPA scoring system was accurate in predicting the outcome of management (correlation coefficient, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.68 to 0.86; P < .0001) at a mean follow-up of 20 weeks. The correlation was further validated by using a linear regression model (r = 0.85; slope best-fit value, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.41 to 0.59; P < .0001). All patients with DEPA scores ≤6 had excellent healing, whereas only 15% of those with a score of ≥10 had complete healing in <20 weeks. In conclusion, an increasing DEPA score is associated with increased risk of amputation and poor healing. Furthermore, inclusion of the phase of ulcer healing into the DEPA system increases the accuracy of predicting the outcome of diabetic foot ulcers.

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