In 1945, Martorell described ischaemic leg ulcers in patients with hypertension. He suggested that the ischaemic necrosis was secondary to a hypertensive arteriolar disease and referred to them as 'hypertensive ischaemic ulcers'. In recent years, the specific entity of these ulcers has been questioned. Others claim they have a much higher incidence, but presume the diagnosis is frequently missed. Almost 900 cases of Martorell's ulcers have been reported in literature since the first description. A systematic review and comprehensive search of literature (evidence-based) was needed to characterize this type of ulcer. Based on aetiology and histopathology, it seems to be justified to maintain the name 'arteriolosclerotic ulcer of Martorell'. We conclude that the arteriolosclerotic ulcer of Martorell is a specific entity with its own clinical and histological diagnostic keys, wound management and preventive measures. We introduce a set of criteria that may be used to facilitate diagnosing arteriolosclerotic ulcer of Martorell as well as a flowchart that includes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this particular type of vascular leg ulcer.

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Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Vuerstaek, J.D.D, Reeder, S.W.I, Henquet, C.J.M, & Neumann, H.A.M. (2010). Arteriolosclerotic ulcer of Martorell. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (Vol. 24, pp. 867–874). doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03553.x