University of Oulu

Virkkala, J., Polet, S., Jokelainen, J., Huilaja, L., & Sinikumpu, S. (2022). Clinical characteristics and comorbidities of the most common atypical wounds in Northern Finland in 1996–2019: A retrospective registry study. Health Science Reports, 5(5).

Clinical characteristics and comorbidities of the most common atypical wounds in Northern Finland in 1996–2019 : a retrospective registry study

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Author: Virkkala, Jani1; Polet, Sara1; Jokelainen, Jari2;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Arctic Biobank, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3PEDEGO Research Unit, Department of Dermatology and Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-10


Background and Aims: Atypical wounds comprise about 20% of all chronic wounds. Their diagnosis and treatment are challenging and require multidisciplinary cooperation. More knowledge is needed about the clinical characteristics and comorbidities of atypical wounds to enhance the treatment of these wounds.

Methods: We studied clinical characteristics and comorbidities of the atypical wounds by using the patient data retrieved from the Oulu University Hospital patient database from the year 1996 to the end of 2019 with the following International Classification of Diseases codes: L88, L95.0, L95.8, L95.9, and L98.1.

Results: In our data, there were 135 patients with atypical wound, more commonly seen in females (N = 84, 62.2%) than in males (N = 51, 37.8%) (p < 0.05). The mean age of patients at the time of diagnosis was 57.3 years; those with pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) and factitious wounds were the youngest (53.1 and 53.0 years, respectively). The majority of subjects (N = 126, 93.3%) were diagnosed with comorbidity at the time of the diagnosis. The most common type of wound was PG (N = 49/135, 36.3%), followed by vasculitis and factitious wounds. The prevalence of inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatoid arthritis in PG patients was high (18.4% for both). All patients with Martorell hypertensive ischemic leg ulceration/calciphylaxis had a diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Psychiatric diseases were more common in patients with factitious wounds than in other types of wounds, whereas patients with vasculitis wounds had more commonly hypertension, obesity, and diabetes mellitus; however, these did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions: Specific comorbidities associated with atypical wounds, such as high psychiatric comorbidity in factitious wounds. There is a female predominance in atypical wounds and patients are typically younger than patients with other types of wounds. Recognition of the typical clinical picture and comorbidities of atypical wounds may help in identifying these patients and thus also improving their treatment.

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Series: Health science reports
ISSN: 2398-8835
ISSN-E: 2398-8835
ISSN-L: 2398-8835
Volume: 5
Article number: e864
DOI: 10.1002/hsr2.864
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.