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International Angiology 2008 June;27(3):247-52


language: English

Generalized alterations in the biomechanical properties of large veins in non-thrombotic thrombophilic young patients

Molnár A. A. 1, Apor A. 2, Kristóf V. 2, Nádasy G. L. 3, Szeberin Z. 2, Monos E. 3, Acsády G. 2, Préda I. 1, Bérczi V. 2, 4

1 Cardiovascular Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary 2 Clinics of Cardiovascular Surgery, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary 3 Experimental Research Department and Department of Human Physiology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary 4 Department of Radiology and Oncotherapy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary


Aim. In young, post-thrombotic patients, venous distensibility is decreased not only in the affected lower limb, but also in the contralateral limb and in the jugular vein when compared to age-matched control subjects. In the present study, we investigated venous wall mechanical properties in young, asymptomatic thrombophilic patients.
Methods. Eleven young (24±0.4 years) control subjects and 9 age-matched patients (21.1±1.8 years) with proven thrombophilic molecular defects, but without any signs or history of previous deep vein thrombosis, were compared. Anterolateral and mediolateral diameters of the common femoral, axillary and internal jugular veins were measured by ultrasonography in situ. Pressure alterations were induced by altering body positions and by pressure-controlled Valsalva tests. Distensibility was calculated from diameter and pressure changes.
Results. In thrombophilic patients, resting diameter of both the common femoral and of internal jugular veins at low transmural pressure was larger than those for the control subjects. Distensibility, however, was significantly less when high pressures were applied. Alterations in diameter of the axillary vein were minimal.
Conclusion. Our measurements suggest that there are generalized changes in venous mechanical properties in thrombophilic patients even before the appearance of thrombotic processes. These biomechanical alterations of the venous wall and/or surrounding connective tissue are similar to those found in connection with aging and in post-thrombotic patients. The pathological mechanisms behind these processes are unknown.

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