Quality assessment of tissue specimens for studies of diabetic foot ulcers

Exp Dermatol. 2013 Mar;22(3):216-8. doi: 10.1111/exd.12104.


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) represent an important clinical problem resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Ongoing translational research studies strive to better understand molecular/cellular basis of DFU pathology that may lead to identification of novel treatment protocols. Tissue at the non-healing wound edge has been identified as one of major contributors to the DFU pathophysiology that provides important tool for translational and clinical investigations. To evaluate quality of tissue specimens and their potential use, we obtained 81 DFU specimens from 25 patients and performed histological analyses, immunohistochemistry and RNA quality assessments. We found that depth of the collected specimen is important determinant of research utility, and only specimens containing a full-thickness epidermis could be utilized for immunohistochemistry and RNA isolation. We showed that only two-thirds of collected specimens could be utilized in translational studies. This attrition rate is important for designs of future studies involving tissue specimen collection from DFU.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Letter
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Dermis / metabolism
  • Dermis / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetic Foot / metabolism
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Diabetic Foot / surgery*
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Specimen Handling / standards*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / standards*


  • Biomarkers
  • MYC protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc