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J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1991 Oct;17(10):809-13.

Venous hypertensive microangiopathy in relation to clinical severity and effect of elastic compression.

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Academic Surgical Unit, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, United Kingdom.


Arterial inflow in mL/minute and perimalleolar skin blood flow were measured with venous occlusion air-plethysmography and laser-Doppler flowmetry in 20 normal limbs, 40 limbs with uncomplicated primary varicose veins, 32 limbs with primary varicose veins and skin changes, and 36 limbs with deep venous disease. Limbs with complicated varicose veins (skin changes) and deep venous disease showed a marked increase (2 to 4 times) in both arterial inflow and skin blood flow when compared with the normal controls and uncomplicated varicose veins. The measurements were repeated 30 minutes after the application of graduated elastic stockings. There was a 16% reduction in the mean arterial inflow (P less than .01) and a 45% decrease in skin blood flow (P less than .01). The results indicate that in limbs with chronic venous insufficiency and skin changes there is an increased blood flow which is mainly in the skin. This is irrespective of whether the venous problem is in the superficial or deep venous system. Elastic compression tends to reduce the hyperemia towards the normal range.

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