Duplex mapping of 2036 primary varicose veins.J Vasc Surg. 2009 Mar; 49(3):681-9.JV
To produce a comprehensive anatomical and hemodynamic ultrasound scan mapping of the whole limb in patients with primary varicose veins (VVs).
An analysis of venous duplex scans performed on patients referred for treatment of primary VVs.
A total of 2036 limbs were evaluated, looking for the origin of VVs in the saphenous systems and in the perforating vein (PV) systems, as well as for the presence of non-saphenous reflux.
The sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ) of the great saphenous vein (GSV) was involved in 1330 limbs (65.3%). We have noted that finding reflux in the groin does not imply that it originates at that point necessarily, as reflux from the pelvis or abdominal wall can also cause primary VVs (SFJ reflux, 41.9% and competent SFJ with reflux from proximal veins, 35.4%). We also noted that analyzing only the presence of reflux in the SFJ of the GSV would miss 10.9% of limbs of reflux in the SFJ of the anterior accessory GSV. In 237 limbs (11.6%), reflux was observed in the popliteal fossa. In the PV system, we distinguished those PVs with retrograde flow that acted as an origin of the VVs, and other PVs that acted as re-entry points. Based on this difference, the location identified as the most frequent origin of VVs in the PV system was the thigh, specifically in the group of PVs of the medial thigh of the femoral canal, with 85 PVs with a total of 238 incompetent PVs identified. Pure non-saphenous reflux was observed in 162 limbs (8%).
The assumption that the origin of VVs would be exclusively in the sapheno-femoral or sapheno-popliteal junction, is a mistaken attitude and a comprehensive duplex scan mapping is recommended.