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REVIEW  VENOUS DISEASE 

International Angiology 2021 October;40(5):368-80

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-9590.21.04657-5

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A review of methodologies evaluating in-vivo superficial vein properties: focus on compliance and reactivity

Christine VAYSSETTES-COURCHAY

Unit of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Discovery Research, Servier Research Institute, Suresnes, France



The saphenous vein (SV) is a hindlimb superficial vein which has aroused a considerable interest because of its implication in chronic venous disease and its use in coronary artery or lower limb bypass grafts. The morphology and patency of the SV are commonly assessed for diagnosis and management, but the dynamic properties of the vein (compliance, elasticity and reactivity, less widely studied) are also fundamental issues. The subject of this review is neither to review the pathologies, nor the treatments or surgical procedures. The goal is to gather together all existing types of investigation on the superficial vein and to focus on the dynamic venous properties in vivo. The data collected indicate that plethysmography (PG) and ultrasound (US) are extensively used to evaluate SV patency, reflux and morphology. Their use to evaluate superficial vein compliance is less widespread but highly necessary. The protocols used via venous occlusion are described and the various parameters used to accurately measure compliance and distensibility versus elasticity are presented and discussed. The advantage of US diameter measurement is shown, including additional pulsatile compliance evaluation. The overview of venous reactivity greatly differs, being poorly studied in vivo, mainly by optical methods in humans or US echotracking in animals. Existing methodologies are potent but could be certainly developed and improved further for better characterization of the SV in human and for investigations of new devices, surgical techniques and pharmacological treatment in preclinical animal studies.


KEY WORDS: Saphenous vein; Arteries; Humans; Animals

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