Systematic review of techniques to monitor remission of acute Charcot-neuroarthropathy in people with diabetes

Catherine Gooday, Katie Gray, Frances Game, Jim Woodburn, Fiona Poland, Wendy Hardeman

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Aim: The management of acute Charcot neuroarthropathy relies on off-loading which is costly and time-consuming. Published studies have used monitoring techniques with unknown diagnostic precision to detect remission. We performed a systematic review of techniques for monitoring response to offloading in acute Charcot neuroarthropathy. Materials and Methods: We included studies of off-loading which evaluated or described monitoring techniques in acute Charcot neuroarthropathy. PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane databases were searched (January1993-July 2018). We extracted data from papers including study design, setting, population, monitoring techniques and treatment outcomes. We also extracted information on the cost, clinical applicability, sensitivity and specificity, safety and participant acceptability of the monitoring techniques. Results: We screened 1205 titles, 140 abstracts and 45 full-texts, and included 29 studies. All studies were of low quality and at high risk of bias. In seven studies, the primary aim was to evaluate monitoring techniques: three evaluated magnetic resonance imaging, two thermography monitoring, one three-phase bone scanning and one Doppler spectrum analysis. The remaining 22 observational studies reported treatment outcomes and described the monitoring techniques used to assess the Charcot neuroarthropathy. Heterogeneity prevented the pooling of data. Very few studies included data on cost, clinical applicability, sensitivity and specificity, safety and patient acceptability of the monitoring techniques used. Conclusion: Multiple techniques have been used to evaluate remission in acute Charcot neuroathropathy but uncertainty remains about their effectiveness. We recommend further research into the influences of different monitoring techniques on treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3328
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number7
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Charcot neuroarthropathy
  • monitoring
  • off-loading
  • remission
  • systematic review

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