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December 1978

Bacteriology of Chronic Leg Ulcers

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine (Dr Lookingbill), the Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery (Dr Miller), and the Department of Pathology (Dr Knowles), the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey. Dr Knowles is now with the Division of Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Wilmington (Del) Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(12):1765-1768. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640240007002

• The quantitative bacteriology of 13 chronic leg ulcers was sequentially assessed by both swab and biopsy culture techniques, and the effect of either a 10% benzoyl peroxide lotion or placebo lotion was evaluated.

There was good correlation between the swab and biopsy culture techniques in 12 of the 17 instances where simultaneous swabs and biopsies were done.

Though the benzoyl peroxide did not favorably affect the bacterial flora, ulcer healing did appear to correlate with quantitative bacterial counts. Three of five ulcers containing fewer than 105 organisms per gram of tissue or per centimeter of ulcer surface area healed, while none of eight ulcers containing more than 105 organisms healed.

Quantitative bacteriological measurements can serve as useful tools in evaluating healing of leg ulcers.

(Arch Dermatol 114:1765-1768, 1978)