Probe-to-Bone Best Test for Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis

Compared to gold-standard of bone histology, PTB better than other tests
By Lindsey Marcellin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The best and most efficient test for diagnosing chronic osteomyelitis of the foot in patients with diabetes may be the probe-to-bone (PTB) test, according to research published in the October issue of Diabetes Care.

Rosario Morales Lozano, Ph.D., of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of patients with diabetic foot ulcers to compare diagnostic tests used for identifying chronic osteomyelitis of the foot, including PTB, clinical signs of infection, radiography, and ulcer specimen culture, using bone histology as the gold standard.

The researchers note that osteomyelitis was diagnosed in 79.5 percent of the foot lesions, with the PTB test having the best results, with an efficiency of 94 percent, a sensitivity of 98 percent, a specificity of 78 percent, a positive predictive value of 95 percent, and a negative predictive value of 91 percent.

"Despite an obvious need for further validations, as part of our protocol and in our outpatient setting, we found the results of the PTB test to be valid and reliable," the authors write.

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