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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

Print version ISSN 1677-5449On-line version ISSN 1677-7301


SACCHI, André de Araújo; CASTRO, Aldemar Araújo; PITTA, Guilherme Benjamin Brandão  and  MIRANDA JUNIOR, Fausto. Assessment of calf muscle pump in patients with primary varicose veins of the lower limbs by air plethysmography. J. vasc. bras. [online]. 2007, vol.6, n.1, pp.25-34. ISSN 1677-5449.

OBJECTIVE: This article aims at assessing the influence of calf muscle vein reflux (suraland genicular veins) on calf muscle pump function in patients with primary varicose veins of the lower limbs. METHODS: Cross-sectional and prospective study assessing 120 patients divided into two groups (60 subjects each) by physical examination, duplex scan and air plethysmography. The first group showed calf muscle venous reflux, whereas the second group presented absence of reflux. Both groups were examined by air plethysmography to verify calf pump function through measurement of ejection fraction, residual volume fraction, ejected volume and venous filling index in both limbs. RESULTS: In the group of patients with reflux, ejection fraction indexes lower than 60% (p < 0.001) were found in 82.3% (left leg) and 74.6% (right leg) of cases. Levels of residual volume fraction greater than 60% were identified in 62.5% (left leg, p= 0.015) and in 86.7% (right leg, p = 0.014) of assessed cases. There was no statistically significant variation concerning the venous filling index between groups with or without reflux, with p= 0.140 in both legs. Of all patients, 63.6% had calf vein reflux (left leg) and 61.8% (right leg) had ejection volume greater than 150 mL (p = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The calf pump function decreased in both lower limbs, due to presence of calf muscle vein reflux (genicular and sural veins).

Keywords : Air plethysmography; calf pump function; varicose veins; gastrocnemius and soleal veins; duplex scan.

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