Introduction: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a common chronic disease, affecting 435 million people globally. Impaired vasculature in DM patients leads to complications like lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD) and foot ulcers, often resulting in amputations. DM causes additional peripheral neuropathy leading to multifactorial wound problems. Current diagnostics often deem unreliable, but Near-Infrared Fluorescence with Indocyanine Green (ICG NIR) can be used to assess the foot perfusion. Therefore, this study explores DM’s impact on foot perfusion using ICG NIR.

Results: Among 109 patients (122 limbs) of the included patients, 32.8% had DM. Six of ten perfusion parameters, mainly inflow-related, differed significantly between DM and non-DM patients (p-values 0.007-0.039). Fontaine stage 4 DM patients had the highest in- and outflow values, with seven parameters significantly higher (p-values 0.004-0.035).

Conclusion: DM is associated with increased in- and outflow parameters. Patients with- and without DM should not be compared directly due to different vascular pathophysiology and multifactorial wound problems in DM patients. Quantified ICG NIR fluorescence imaging offers additional insight into the effect of DM on foot perfusion.

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