Home > Journals > International Angiology > Past Issues > International Angiology 2014 June;33(3) > International Angiology 2014 June;33(3):236-42





A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,37




International Angiology 2014 June;33(3):236-42


language: English

Glycosaminoglycan sulodexide modulates inflammatory pathways in chronic venous disease

Mannello F. 1, Ligi D. 1, Raffetto J. D. 2, 3, 4

1 Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Section of Clinical Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University “Carlo Bo”, Urbino, Italy; 2 Vascular Surgery Division, VA Boston Healthcare System, West Roxbury, MA, USA; 3 Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 4 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


Inflammation represents an important epiphenomenon in the etiopathogenesis of chronic venous disease, a worldwide debilitating condition affecting millions of subjects. The pathophysiology of chronic venous disease (CVD) is based on the hemodynamic abnormalities in conjunction to alterations in cellular and extracellular matrix biocompounds. The endothelial dysfunction results from early perturbation in the endothelium linked to glycocalyx injury and promoted by inflammatory cells and mediators (such as matrix metalloproteinases and interleukins), which lead to progressive dilation of the vein resulting in chronic venous insufficiency. Activated leukocytes during the inflammatory process release enzymes, free radicals, chemokines and inflammatory cytokines in the vessel microenvironment, which are responsible for the changes of the venous wall and venous valve, reflux and venous hypertension, and the development/progression of tissue destruction and skin changes. Sulodexide, a highly purified mixture of glycosaminoglycans composed by 80% fast moving heparin and 20% of dermatan sulphate, exhibits anti-thrombotic and profibrinolytic properties, restoring also the essential endothelial glycocalyx. Glycosaminoglycan sulodexide has been also characterized to reduce the release of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and to inhibit the matrix metalloproteinases-related proteolytic cascades, counteracting endothelial dysfunctions. The pleiotropic effects of sulodexide set the basis for a very promising agent in treating the spectrum of CVD.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Corresponding author e-mail