Biopsy of non-healing leg ulcers

Systematic biopsy of chronic leg ulcers not responding to three months or more of appropriate treatment should be considered, the results of a prospective cross-sectional study suggest

Researchers performed at least two 6mm punch biopsies (one at the wound edge and one in the wound bed) in 144 patients who consulted for chronic leg ulcers that were refractory to at least three months' treatment.

Overall skin cancer frequency was 10.4%; 56.3% had persisted for at least three years. Older age, abnormal excessive granulation tissue at wound edges, high clinical suspicion of cancer and number of biopsies were significantly associated with skin cancer in one or more biopsy specimens.
Senet P, Combemale P, Debure C et al. Arch Dermatol 2012

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