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A Journal on Angiology
Official Journal of the , the International Union of Phlebology and the
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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International Angiology 2003 June;22(2):182-7
Patterns of venous reflux in limbs with venous ulcers. Implications for treatment
Ioannou C. V. 1, Giannoukas A. D. 1, Kostas T. 1, Kafetzakis A. 1, Liamis A. 1, Touloupakis E. 1, Tsetis D. 2, Katsamouris N. 1
1 Division of Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of Heraklion, University of Crete Medical School, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
2 Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Heraklion, University of Crete Medical School, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Aim. To investigate the anatomic distribution of vein reflux in limbs with healed or active ulcers (CEAP V and VI).
Methods. Sixty limbs (58 patients) belonging to CEAP classes V and VI were identified from 798 limbs (519 patients) with ultrasonically proven chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Age, gender, duration of the venous ulcer, and history of deep venous thrombosis were correlated to the anatomic distribution of the venous reflux.
Results. The prevalence of active or healed ulcers in limbs with CVI was 7.5%. Among 60 limbs with ulcers, primary CVI was present in 34 (56.7%) and post-thrombotic CVI in 26 limbs (43.3%). No difference in age and gender was found between the 2 groups (p=0.2 and p=0.8, respectively). However, the duration of the ulcer was longer in limbs with post-thrombotic CVI (p<0.05). The prevalence of perforator reflux was 41.2% (14/34) in limbs with primary CVI and 38.5% (10/26) in limbs with post-thrombotic CVI (p=0.8). Superficial venous insufficiency, with or without perforating vein reflux, was the commonest pattern in limbs with primary CVI; it was rare in limbs with post-thrombotic CVI (22/34 or 64.7% vs 2/26 or 7.7%, p<0.01). Deep vein insufficiency was present in 35.3% (12/34) of the limbs with primary CVI and in 92.3% (24/26) of the limbs with post-thrombotic CVI (p<0.01).
Conclusion. Superficial venous insufficiency, with or without perforating vein reflux, was the commonest pattern in limbs with primary CVI, whereas, deep venous insufficiency was present in most of the limbs with post-thrombotic CVI. The prevalence of perforating vein reflux was comparable in both settings. Thus, elimination of superficial reflux is expected to result in ulcer healing of most limbs with primary CVI, whereas, the value of such treatment in post-thrombotic limbs is not clear.