Semin intervent Radiol 2009; 26(4): 286-295
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242204
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The Evaluation of Lower-Extremity Ulcers

Georgios Spentzouris1 , Nicos Labropoulos1
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
17 November 2009 (online)


Lower-limb ulceration is prevalent in Western countries. There are many different types of ulcers with several causes. The most prevalent are those due to vascular disease, of which venous is the most common, accounting for over two-thirds of all types of ulcers. There are also many other causes for ulceration such as malignancy, infections, and skin, drug-induced, and autoimmune diseases. The ulcers have different characteristics, which may be differentiated by the history and clinical examination of the patients. However, objective documentation for the ulcer etiology is necessary prior to instigating treatment. The methods for diagnosing the causes for the ulcers include plethysmography, ultrasound, angiography, computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and skin biopsy. All these tests should be used in conjunction with the clinical presentation of the patient. They should be performed in a cost-effective manner to avoid delays in diagnosis and reduce costs and usage of resources.


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Nicos LabropoulosPh.D. 

Professor of Surgery and Radiology, Department of Surgery

HSC T19 Rm90, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8191