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Acta Phlebologica 2002 August;3(2):69-73

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

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


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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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