Clinical profiles of diabetic foot ulcer patients undergoing major limb amputation at a tertiary care center in North-eastern Tanzania

Ahmed Shabhay, Pius Horumpende, Zarina Shabhay, Andrew Mganga, Jeff Van Baal, David Msuya, Kondo Chilonga & Samwel Chugulu
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Diabetic foot ulcers complications are the major cause of non-traumatic major limb amputation. We aimed at assessing the clinical profiles of diabetic foot ulcer patients undergoing major limb amputation in the Surgical Department at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC), a tertiary care hospital in North-eastern Tanzania.


A cross—sectional hospital-based study was conducted from September 2018 through March 2019. Demographic data were obtained from structured questionnaires. Diabetic foot ulcers were graded according to the Meggitt-Wagner classification system. Hemoglobin and random blood glucose levels data were retrieved from patients’ files.


A total of 60 patients were recruited in the study. More than half (31/60; 51.67%) were amputated. Thirty-five (58.33%) were males. Fifty-nine (98.33%) had type II diabetes. Nearly two-thirds (34/60; 56.67%) had duration of diabetes for more than 5 years. The mean age was 60.06 ± 11.33 years (range 30–87). The mean haemoglobin level was 10.20 ± 2.73 g/dl and 9.84 ± 2.69 g/dl among amputees. Nearly two thirds (42/60; 70.00%) had a haemoglobin level below 12 g/dl, with more than a half (23/42; 54.76%) undergoing major limb amputation. Two thirds (23/31; 74.19%) of all patients who underwent major limb amputation had mean hemoglobin level below 12 g/dl. The mean Random Blood Glucose (MRBG) was 13.18 ± 6.17 mmol/L and 14.16 ± 6.10 mmol/L for amputees. Almost two thirds of the study population i.e., 42/60(70.00%) had poor glycemic control with random blood glucose level above 10.0 mmol/L. More than half 23/42 (54.76%) of the patients with poor glycemic control underwent some form of major limb amputation; which is nearly two thirds (23/31; 74.19%) of the total amputees. Twenty-eight (46.67%) had Meggitt-Wagner classification grade 3, of which nearly two thirds (17:60.71%) underwent major limb amputation.


In this study, the cohort of patients suffering from diabetic foot ulcers treated in a tertiary care center in north-eastern Tanzania, the likelihood of amputation significantly correlated with the initial grade of the Meggit-Wagner ulcer classification. High blood glucose levels and anaemia seem to be also important risk factors but correlation did not reveal statistical significance.