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J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2015 Apr;3(2):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2014.09.005. Epub 2014 Oct 18.

Changes in the diameter and valve closure time of leg veins in primigravida women during pregnancy.

Author information

Department of Radiologic Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Electronic address:
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maternity Hospital, Al-Ihgaqi Center, Ministry of Health, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, Health Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University and Vascular Surgery Unit, Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Ministry of Health, Kuwait City, Kuwait.



The aim of this study was to monitor the changes that develop in leg veins of primigravida women during pregnancy.


Sixty primigravida women volunteered to undergo clinical evaluation and duplex ultrasound examination of both lower limb veins to monitor changes in vein diameter and valve closure time (VCT) during pregnancy and 3 months postpartum by duplex ultrasound. A total of four readings were taken for each subject, one reading for each trimester and the last reading at 3 months postpartum.


The mean (± standard deviation) age of participants was 26.82 ± 2.47 years; 39 limbs (32.5%) and 65 limbs (54.2%) developed C1-C3 venous changes during the second and third trimesters, respectively. Three months post partum, 36 limbs (30%) continued to have C1-C2 changes. Only four limbs in four subjects developed varicose veins along the great saphenous vein, and their VCT was more than 1 second. These subjects were found to have a family history of varicose veins. Duplex examinations showed that there was a gradual increase in the diameter and VCT from the second trimester through the third trimester of pregnancy in all examined venous segments. These changes were statistically significant by Friedman and related-samples Wilcoxon signed rank tests within the same legs (P = .001) but not between legs in the same subject (P > .05), even with adjustment for body mass index (P = .001-.049).


In primigravida women, lower limb veins showed gradual increase in vein diameter and in VCT starting from the second trimester. These changes reverted to baseline in most cases 3 months after delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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