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International Angiology 2015 June;34(3):263-8


lingua: Inglese

Descending phlebography in patients with venous ulceration: hemodynamic implications

Papadakis K. G. 1, 2, Christopoulos D. 1, 3, Hobbs J. T. 1, Nicolaides A. N. 1, 4

1 Irvine Laboratory, Academic Surgical Unit, St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK; 2 Department of Vascular Surgery, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece; 3 University Vascular Unit, Gennimatas General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece; 4 Nicosia Medical School, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus


AIM: The aim of this paper is to report on the hemodynamic significance of the various degrees reflux as demonstrated on descending phlebography, by comparing the phlebographic findings with ambulatory venous pressure (AVP) measurements.
METHOD: Thirty-two patients (45 affected limbs) with active or healed venous ulceration were admitted to the study. Descending phlebography with grading of reflux (0-4 using Herman’s grading), AVP and refilling time 90 (RT90) were performed in all patients. In addition, the presence of deep to superficial reflux into the great saphenous vein at the sapheno-femoral junction, thigh incompetent perforating veins, small saphenous vein at the saphenopopliteal junction and incompetent calf perforating veins was recorded using ascending functional phlebography. The examined limbs were separated into two groups according to the Grade of reflux. Group I consisted of limbs in which popliteal valve incompetence was not demonstrated on descending phlebography, i.e., Grades 0-2 (18 limbs). Group II consisted of limbs with popliteal reflux as demonstrated by descending venography, i.e., grades 3 and 4 (27 limbs).
RESULTS: In Group I the mean AVP±SD was 47.2±9.3 mmHg (range 31-67 mmHg). After the application of the ankle tourniquet to exclude the effects of the superficial venous incompetence on the pressure recordings, the mean AVP±SD became 28.1±9.9 mmHg (range 11-44) (paired t test: P<0.001). In Group II (limbs with incompetent popliteal valves) the mean AVP±SD was 71.6±12.7 mmHg (range 49-95 mmHg) before the tourniquet. This was significantly higher than in Group I (t test: P<0.001). The application of the ankle tourniquet in this group produced a small but significant decrease in the AVP (mean AVP±SD: 66±14.5 mmHg) (paired t test: P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Incompetence of the femoral valves in the presence of competent popliteal valves adds very little to the hemodynamic abnormality produced by superficial venous reflux. In the majority of these patients, there is co-existing reflux from deep to superficial veins with associated superficial valve incompetence which is responsible for the venous hypertension, skin changes and ulceration. The hemodynamic changes which in the past had been associated with deep venous insufficiency (AVP >45 mmHg and RT90 <14 seconds despite the application of an ankle tourniquet) occur only when there is popliteal incompetence.

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