Prevalence of immune disease in patients with wounds presenting to a tertiary wound healing centre

Victoria K. Shanmugam, Amber Schilling, Anthony Germinario, Mihriye Mete, Paul Kim, John Steinberg, Christopher E. Attinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Chronic leg ulcers are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and account for considerable healthcare and socioeconomic costs. Leg ulcers are a recognised complication of immune disease, and the purpose of this study was to establish the prevalence of immune disease in a cohort of patients with chronic wounds, and to compare wound outcomes in the subjects with and without immune disease. Retrospective chart review was completed on consecutive patients scheduled with the plastic surgeon in the Georgetown University Center for Wound Healing between 1 January 2009 and 31 March 2009. Of the 520 patients scheduled for appointments, 340 were eligible for inclusion. The prevalence of immune disease was higher than expected with 78 of 340 patients (23%) having associated immune disease. At presentation, wounds in patients with immune disease had a significantly larger mean surface area [33·4 cm2 (69·05) compared to 22·5 cm2 (63·65), P = 0·02]. Split thickness skin graft (STSG) and bioengineered alternative tissue (BAT) graft data was available on 177 grafts from 55 subjects. There was a significantly lower response rate to STSG in subjects with immune disease (50% compared to 97%, P = 0·0002), but response rates to BAT were not different. The association between immune diseases and chronic wounds may provide unique insights into pathways of wound healing, and warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-411
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioengineered alternative tissue
  • Immune disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Split thickness skin graft
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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