The improvement of peripheral circulation is crucial for the care of vasculopathic diabetic foot ulcer (DFU). Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to investigate the effects of Buerger’s exercise on dorsal foot skin circulation with novel technique of measuring the absorption difference in wavelength of light between oxy-hemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxy-hemoglobin (HbR). Patients with vasculopathic DFU who could tolerate Buerger’s exercise three times a day at home for at least 8 weeks were enrolled (group A). They were divided into two subgroups: without previous percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) (group A1) vs. with previous PTA (group A2). Wireless NIRS were applied on patients’ dorsal foot to assess the peripheral circulation in follow-up clinics. The patients’ wound condition, follow-up time, and concentration of HbO2 and total hemoglobin (HbT) before and after exercise rehabilitation program were documented. From May 2015 to February 2016, 14 patients with average age of 70.2 ± 11.2 were enrolled in this study (group A), including eight without previous PTA (group A1), and six with previous PTA (group A2). The concentration of HbO2 and HbT were significantly increased after exercise rehabilitation program training in group A (p = 0.024 in HbO2, p = 0.02 in HbT, n = 14) and group A2 (p = 0.021 in HbO2, p = 0.028 in HbT, n = 6), while the concentration in group A1 were improved with borderline significance after exercise (p = 0.055 in HbO2, p = 0.058 in HbT, n = 8). The majority of the ulcers were either completely healed (11/14 = 78.57%) or improving (3/14 = 21.43%). Buerger’s exercise improved the peripheral circulation and wound condition in patients with vasculopathic DFU. The wireless apparatus is a novel and efficient tool to monitor rehabilitation program.
- Buerger’s exercise
- Near-infrared spectroscope
- Peripheral circulation
- Vasculopathic diabetic foot ulcer