Studies over the last decade have revealed impairment of the microcirculation in the diabetic foot. Endothelial dysfunction along with derangements in numerous biochemical pathways has been implicated as causes of microcirculation impairment. Additionally, reduction or absence of the nerve-axon reflex renders the diabetic foot unable to mount a vasodilatory response under conditions of stress, such as injury or infection and makes it functionally ischemic even in the presence of satisfactory blood flow under normal conditions. Furthermore, these changes appear to be directly related to the presence of diabetic neuropathy. These alterations in the diabetic microcirculation may explain the poor wound healing commonly observed in diabetes.
Keywords: small vessel disease, femoro-popliteal bypass grafts, microcircuiation, basement membrane, non-diabetic foot, laser doppler flowmetry, Iontophoresis, flow video microscopy, endotheliumderived, relaxing factor (edrf)
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