Value of white blood cell count with differential in the acute diabetic foot infection

David G. Armstrong, Theresa A. Perales, Randall T. Murff, Gary W. Edelson, John G. Welchon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The authors reviewed the admission leukocyte indices of 338 consecutive admissions (203 males, 135 females, mean age of 60.2 ± 12.9 years) with a primary diagnosis of diabetic foot infection in a multicenter retrospective study. The mean white blood cell count on admission for all subjects studied was calculated at 11.9 ± 5.4 × 103 cells/mm3. Of all white blood cell counts secured for patients admitted with a diabetic foot infection, 56% (189 out of 338) were within normal limits. The average automated polymorphonuclear leukocyte percentage was calculated at 71.4 ± 11.1% (normal range 40% to 80%). Normal polymorphonuclear leukocyte values were present in 83.7% of subjects. The authors stress that the diagnosis of a diabetic pedal infection is made primarily on the basis of clinical signs and symptoms, and that a normal white cell count and white cell differential should not deter the physician from taking appropriate action to mitigate the propagation of a potentially limb-threatening pedal infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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