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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 619-624

The clinical and microbiological profile of the diabetic hand: A retrospective study from South India

1 Dr. Paul Brand Centre for Hand Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Nihal Thomas
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.190539

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Background: Pyogenic Infections of the hand in diabetes are largely a tropical entity and published material in the area are rather meagre. Patients and Methods: This is a retrospective study on the pattern of hand infections and involves the microbiological profile of 39 cases of diabetes hand-related infections admitted to the hospital between the years 2004 and 2010. Results: This study included 39 patients, among whom 23 (59%) had necrotizing fasciitis (NF), and 16 (9-abscess and 7-tenosynovitis) had nonnecrotizing infection. Among 25 culture positive patients, polymicrobial infections were isolated in 13 (52%) patients, a single organism was isolated in 9 (36%) and 3 (12%) had sterile cultures. Out of the 41 different bacterial isolates, 51.12% were Gram-negative and 48.78% were Gram-positive. Patients with NF had a higher mean glycated hemoglobin (10.83 ± 2.59 vs. 8.64 ± 1.8%, P = 0.020), when compared to the nonnecrotizing group. Patients with NF also had more polymicrobial infections (P = 0.017), and a longer duration of hospitalization when compared to patients without NF (21.8 ± 9.96 vs. 12.7 ± 14.5 days, P = 0.021). Seven (17.94%) patients required amputation of the affected digits of which six (15.38%) had NF. Conclusion: Patients with poor glycemic control, polymicrobial infection, delay in presentation, and a prior surgical intervention at another medical center was associated with more severe necrotizing infections. The duration of hospitalization and amputation rates was greater among patients with NF.

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