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A Journal on Phlebology

Official Journal of the Italian College of Phlebology
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Acta Phlebologica 2002 August;3(2):69-73

language: English

Influence of elas­tic com­pres­sion on ­venous ­return in ath­letes

Arpaia G. 1, Mastrogiacomo O. 1, Pelicioni E. 2, Aloisi D. 2, Grassi F. 3, Oliverio T. 4, Ponte E. 4, Scondotto G. 2, Cimminiello C. 1

1 Vascular Unit of Medicine 2 Department, Ospedale Civile, Vimercate (Milano);
2 Angiology Service and Day Hospital Mengodi, Bologna;
3 Angiology Department, S. Camillo Hospital, Roma;
4 Angiology Unit, Trieste University, Trieste


The ­venous cir­cu­la­tion in ath­letes can be affect­ed by a syn­drome of “exces­sive ­flow” ­caused by exer­cise. This can ­cause ecta­sia of the ­veins depend­ing on the ­type of ­sport prac­ticed, may be due to pro­longed ­high ­intra-tho­rac­ic or abdom­i­nal pres­sure. There are ­very few pub­li­ca­tions on the ­effects of elas­tic com­pres­sion on sport­ing per­for­mance in ath­letes ­with no ­overt ­venous pathol­o­gy. In ­small ­series of ath­letes run­ning ­short or mid-­length rac­es and ­short mar­a­thons, or play­ing ten­nis, rhe­o­graph­ic, ple­thys­mo­graph­ic and ­echo-Doppler inves­ti­ga­tions ­have ­shown fast­er ­venous emp­ty­ing. Aim of ­this ­study is to ­assess the “­acute” hemo­dy­nam­ic ­effects of elas­tic ­hose giv­ing ­class I com­pres­sion in ath­letes (Varisan Top – CIZE­TA Medicali). The ­study ­group com­prised 38 peo­ple of ­both sex­es (29 ­males, 9 ­females), hemo­dy­nam­ic chang­es ­were ­assessed on the ­basis of reflect­ed-­light rhe­o­graph­ic find­ings (RLR). Filling ­time T0, T90, T1/2 and Delta R was the ­assessed param­e­ters. Each leg is con­sid­ered as one “func­tion­al ­unit”, so the ­results ­were ana­lysed on the ­basis of the ­total num­ber of ­limbs (76). There was a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in refill­ing ­time ­after walk­ing ­with the elas­tic ­hose. In con­clu­sion it ­would ­appear ­that the use of ­class I elas­tic ­hosiery influ­enc­es hemo­dy­nam­ics in ath­letes ­with no clin­i­cal­ly or instru­men­tal­ly detect­able ­venous pathol­o­gies. Previous obser­va­tions, ­though ­based on ­small num­bers, sug­gest ­that the ­effects are favor­able not ­only on hemo­dy­nam­ics but ­also on mus­cle metab­olism, ­with pos­sible reper­cus­sions on ath­let­ic per­for­mance.

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