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BACKGROUND: Various structural and functional factors of foot function have been associated with high local plantar pressures. The therapist focuses on these features which are thought to be responsible for plantar ulceration in patients with diabetes. Risk assessment of the diabetic foot would be made easier if locally elevated plantar pressure could be indicated with a minimum set of clinical measures.
METHODS: Ninety three patients were evaluated through vascular, orthopaedic, neurological and radiological assessment. A pressure platform was used to quantify the barefoot peak pressure for six forefoot regions: big toe (BT) and metatarsals one (MT-1) to five (MT-5). Stepwise regression modelling was performed to determine which set of the clinical and radiological measures explained most variability in local barefoot plantar peak pressure in each of the six forefoot regions. Comprehensive models were computed with independent variables from the clinical and radiological measurements. The difference between the actual plantar pressure and the predicted value was examined through Bland-Altman analysis.
RESULTS: Forefoot pressures were significant higher in patients with neuropathy, compared to patients without neuropathy for the whole forefoot, the MT-1 region and the MT-5 region (respectively 138 kPa, 173 kPa and 88 kPa higher: mean difference). The clinical models explained up to 34 percent of the variance in local peak pressures. Callus formation and toe deformity were identified as relevant clinical predictors for all forefoot regions. Regression models with radiological variables explained about 22 percent of the variance in local peak pressures. For most regions the combination of clinical and radiological variables resulted in a higher explained variance. The Bland and Altman analysis showed a major discrepancy between the predicted and the actual peak pressure values.
CONCLUSIONS: At best, clinical and radiological measurements could only explain about 34 percent of the variance in local barefoot peak pressure in this population of diabetic patients. The prediction models constructed with linear regression are not useful in clinical practice because of considerable underestimation of high plantar pressure values. Identification of elevated plantar pressure without equipment for quantification of plantar pressure is inadequate. The use of quantitative plantar pressure measurement for diabetic foot screening is therefore advocated.
Re: Prediction of peak pressure from clinical and radiological measurements in patients with diabetes.
Vibrating Perception Threshold and Body Mass Index Are Associated with Abnormal Foot Plantar Pressure in Type 2 Diabetes Outpatients.
Shen J, Liu F, Zeng H, Wang J, Zhao JG, Zhao J, Lu FD, Jia WP. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2012 Aug 30.
Aims: This study investigated the influencing factors of foot plantar pressure and attempted to find practical indicators to predict abnormal foot pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Subjects and Methods: Vibration perception threshold (VPT) and foot plantar pressure in 1,126 T2DM outpatients were examined. Patients were assigned to Group A (n=599), Group B (n=312), and Group C (n=215) according to VPT values and to Group I (n=555), Group II (n=436), and Group III (n=135) based on body mass index (BMI). The clinical characteristics and pressure-time integral (PTI) were compared among the three groups, and the associated factors of the total PTI in the entire foot (T-PTI) were analyzed.
Results: PTI of Group C in heel medial and heel lateral was significantly higher than that of Group A (all P<0.01). PTI of Group B in the right fifth metatarsal and heel medial was significantly higher than that of Group A (all P<0.05). T-PTI of Group C was significantly higher than those of Groups A and B, and that of Group B was higher than that of Group A (all P<0.01). PTI of Groups II and III in the second, third, and fourth metatarsal, midfoot, heel medial, and heel lateral was significantly higher than that of Group I (all P<0.05). T-PTI of Groups II and III was significantly higher than that of Group I (all P<0.01). Pearson correlation analysis showed that T-PTI was positively associated with age, VPT, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and BMI (P<0.05). In multiple stepwise regression analysis, VPT (P=0.004) and BMI (P=0.000) were independent risk factors of T-PTI, and each 1 unit increase in BMI increased the T-PTI by 5.962 kPa•s. Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis further revealed that the optimal cutpoint of VPT and BMI to predict the abnormal PTI was 21 V (odds ratio=2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.67-3.25) and 24.9 kg/m(2) (odds ratio=2.12, 95% confidence interval 1.55-2.90), respectively.
Conclusions: Having a VPT higher than 21 V and a BMI above 24.9 kg/m(2) increases the risk of excessive foot plantar pressure in Chinese T2DM.