Tissue and Urinary Haemosiderin in Chronic Leg Ulcers

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Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between urinary and tissue haemosiderin in chronic leg ulcers, and its value as a diagnostic test for venous ulceration. Methods: 45 patients with chronic leg ulcers were recruited to the study (24 venous, 6 ischaemic, 6 lymphoedematous, 5 rheumatoid and 4 sickle cell). Punch biopsy of the ulcer edge was taken and early morning urine samples were collected. Positive Prussian-blue urinary haemosiderin granules were measured with a haemocytometer following Perls' staining. The percentage area of histological section staining positively with Perls' was measured using image analysis. Results: 84 urine samples and 46 ulcer biopsies were collected. Urinary haemosiderin was present in 92% of venous ulcer patients, but was absent in the ischaemic ulcer patients (p < 0.0001). Significantly more urinary haemosiderin granules were detected in venous ulcer patients compared with patients who had lymphoedema (p < 0.05). Tissue haemosiderin was detected in all ulcer types investigated. No correlation was found between the amounts of haemosiderin deposited in the tissue and the amount found in urine (r2 = 0.06). Conclusions: Haemosiderin is present in the urine of most patients with venous ulcers but not in ischaemia ulcers. © 2007 European Society for Vascular Surgery.




Tan, J., Smith, A., Abisi, S., Eastham, D., & Burnand, K. G. (2007). Tissue and Urinary Haemosiderin in Chronic Leg Ulcers. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 34(3), 355–360. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2007.02.006

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