Haemodynamic significance of incompetent calf perforating veins

A. J. Zukowski, A. N. Nicolaides, G. Szendro, A. Irvine, R. Lewis, G. M. Malouf, J. T. Hobbs, H. A.F. Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A total of 149 consecutive unselected patients (221 limbs) who presented with signs and symptoms of chronic venous problems (varicose veins with or without ankle oedema, skin changes and leg ulcers) have been studied by clinical examination, ascending deep to superficial venography, Doppler ultrasound and ambulatory venous pressure measurements. Of the limbs, 180 (82 per cent) had varicose veins without obstruction in the deep veins or reflux in the popliteal or femoral veins while 41 (18 per cent) had deep venous disease. Of the 180 limbs with ‘primary’ varicose veins 110 (60 per cent) did not have incompetent calf perforating veins (group A) while 70 (40 per cent) did (group B). On the basis of the ambulatory venous pressure after calf muscle exercise and the refilling time, the incompetent calf perforating veins of limbs in group B belonged to three subgroups of different haemodynamic significance. In 20 limbs (30 per cent) they were found to be of no haemodynamic significance, in 25 (35 per cent) of moderate haemodynamic significance and in 25 (35 per cent) of major haemodynamic significance. The last were, on clinical examination, indistinguishable from limbs with deep venous disease although they had patent deep veins with competent popliteal valves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-629
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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