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Acta Phlebologica 2015 April;16(1):9-18


language: English

Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of chronic leg ulcers: a systematic review

Serra R. 1, 2, Butrico L. 2, Ruggiero M. 2, Rossi A. 3, Buffone G. 1, Fugetto F. 4, De Caridi G. 5, Massara M. 5, Falasconi C. 6, Rizzuto A. 2, Settimio U. F. 2, Perri P. 2, Dardano G. 2, Grande R. 2, De Franciscis S. 1, 2

1 Interuniversity Center of Phlebolymphology (CIFL), International Research and Educational Program in Clinical and Experimental Biotechnology, Headquarters: University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 2 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 3 Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy; 4 School of Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 5 Department of Dentistry and Medical and Surgical Experimental Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 6 Local Health Unit of Naples, Naples, Italy


Chronic leg ulcers (CLUs) for its high prevalence in adult population represent one of the main cause of morbidity in western countries. Aim of this study is to give update information on epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of CLUs. PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were searched for articles using the term “vascular and chronic leg ulcers”, “vascular ulcers diagnosis and management”, “inflammation” “matrix metalloproteinases” and “natural history of leg ulcers”. All potentially eligible studies were subsequently evaluated in detail by authors through consideration of the full text. Reference lists of retrieved articles were also searched for relevant publications. The initial database searches yielded 1105 studies from PubMed, 12,134 from Science Direct in the last 5 years. We evaluated 711 eligible full text articles. The etiology and pathophysiology, the diagnosis and management, and the differential diagnosis of chronic leg ulcers have been reviewed. Updated knowledge on epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of CLUs may be a stimulus to improve the general awareness of the problem in order to improve new treatments and hence, the long term prognosis for patients.

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