Transcutaneous oxygen pressure measurement in diabetic foot ulcers: mean values and cut-point for wound healing

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. Nov-Dec 2013;40(6):585-9. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3182a9a7bf.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate mean values and cut-point of transcutaneous oxygen pressure (TcPO2) measurement in patients with diabetic foot ulcers.

Design: Prospective, descriptive study.

Subjects and setting: Sixty-one patients with diabetes mellitus and foot ulcers comprised the sample. The research setting was Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital of SunYat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Methods: Participants underwent transcutaneous oxygen (TcPO2) measurement at the dorsum of foot. Patients were classified into 3 groups according to clinical outcomes: (1) ulcers healed with intact skin group, (2) ulcer improved, and (3) ulcer failed to improve. TcPO2 was assessed and cut-points for predicting diabetic foot ulcer healing were calculated.

Results: Thirty-six patients healed with intact skin, 8 experienced improvement, and 17 showed no improvement. Mean TcPO2 levels were significantly higher (P< .001) in healed ulcers with intact skin (32 ± 10 mmHg) when compared to the improvement group (30 ± 7 mmHg) and the nonhealing group (15 ± 12 mmHg). All patients with TcPO2≤ 10 mmHg failed to heal or experienced deterioration in their foot ulcers. In contrast, all patients with TcPO2≥ 40 mmHg achieved wound closure. Measurement of TcPO2 in the supine position revealed a cut-point value of 25 mmHg as the best threshold for predicting diabetic foot ulcer healing; the area under the curve using this cut-point was 0.838 (95% confidence interval = 0.700-0.976). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for TxPO2 were 88.6%, 82.4%, 90.7%, and 72.2%, respectively.

Conclusion: TcPO2≥ 40 mmHg was associated with diabetic foot ulcer healing, but a TcPO2≤ 10 mmHg was associated with failure of wound healing. We found that a cut-point of 25 mmHg was most predictive of diabetic foot ulcer healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous*
  • Diabetic Foot / blood*
  • Diabetic Foot / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Foot / blood supply
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pressure
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wound Healing / physiology