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Acta Vulnologica 2008 June;6(2):57-61


language: Italian

Homocysteinemia in patients with chronic ulcers of the lower limbs: preliminary results

Bottini S., Francia C., Lunardon L., Persico M. C., Veraldi S.

Istituto di Scienze Dermatologiche Università degli Studi di Milano Fondazione I.R.C.C.S. Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Milano, Italia


Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the blood levels of homocysteine and folic acid in patients with chronic ulcers of the lower limbs. The purpose of the study was to search for a relationship between hyperhomocysteinemia and impaired wound healing.
Methods. Twenty six patients (7 males and 19 females, with a median age of 71.5 years) were subjected to blood samples to evaluate homocysteine and folic acid levels.
Results. In 19/26 patients hyperhomocysteinemia was recorded: these patients were treated with oral folic acid (5 mg/day). In 11/19 patients this therapy induced a normalization of homocysteinemia. In 13/19 patients we observed a progressive improvement of the ulcers. Six patients were lost to follow-up.
Conclusion. Hyperhomocysteinemia is very frequent in patients with chronic ulcers of the legs. However, it is not possible to state that hyperhomocysteinemia is exclusively linked to skin ulcers. In almost all patients we observed an improvement of blood levels of homocysteine and folic acid up to normal values, following folic acid administration. In these patients we observed a significant clinical improvement of the ulcers. However, we do not yet know if ulcers improvement is due to normalization of homocysteine blood levels or these reduced following improvement of skin ulcers.

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