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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2007 Jul;34(1):102-6. Epub 2007 May 2.

Oral bacteria are a possible risk factor for valvular incompetence in primary varicose veins.

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Department of Vascular and Applied Surgery and Periodontology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentisty, Tokyo, Japan.



To investigate a possible link between valvular incompetence in primary varicose veins and chronic infection of periodontal disease by assessing the presence of oral bacteria in the great saphenous vein from patients with varicose veins and control subjects.


Forty-four primary varicose vein patients were enrolled in the study. 12 control saphenous veins were obtained from patients undergoing peripheral arterial bypass without clinical evidence of venous reflux. In total, 56 saphenous vein specimen (44 varicose veins and 12 control veins) were examined for 7 periodontal bacteria using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.


Of the 44 primary varicose vein patients, 31 patients were women and mean age was 59 years (range, 39-79 years). PCR examination of the diseased vein specimens showed that 48% were positive for at least one of 7 periodontal bacterial DNA. No bacteria were detected in the control specimens.


Bacterial colonisation or infection of varicose veins is a frequent event although we were not able to establish whether this is a cause or consequence of the development of varices but this could be considered a risk factor for the development of varices.

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