Venous filling time using air-plethysmography correlates highly with great saphenous vein reflux time using duplex.Phlebology. 2014 Mar; 29(2):90-7.P
Venous filling time (VFT90) is the time taken to reach 90% of the venous volume in the calf. It is recorded by air-plethysmography (APG(®)) and is assumed to measure global venous reflux duration. However, this has never been confirmed by duplex. The aim of the study was to compare VFT on APG to venous reflux time/duration (RT) measured simultaneously with duplex on the same patients.
Twenty-six consecutive patients, M:F = 16:10, age (25-78), C1 = 1, C2 = 4, C3 = 8, C4a = 6, C4b = 4, C5 = 2, C6 = 1, underwent simultaneous APG with duplex. The venous filling index (VFI, mL/second), VFT90 (seconds), great saphenous vein (GSV) RT on duplex, averaged thigh GSV diameter and thigh length (length) between the APG sensor air-cuff and duplex transducer were recorded. The VFT100 was calculated by VFT90/0.9. The additional time taken to fill the thigh was achieved using the VFI, length and deep vein diameter (d), to determine the corrected reflux duration: CRD = VFT100 + (length × πd(2)/4 (1/VFI)).
Twenty-five patients are presented. One patient with very mild reflux (VFT90 = 55.9 seconds) had an indeterminate endpoint on duplex and was excluded. The median (range) VFI and GSV diameter was 4.9(1.3-15.5) mL/second and 7(4-17) mm, respectively. The VFT90 and VFT100 both correlated with RT on duplex (Spearman, P < 0.0005) at: r = 0.933, r(2) linear = 0.72 and r = 0.933, r(2) linear = 0.68, respectively. The median (interquartile range) filling time with VFT90 was less than the duplex RT at 24 (16.9) versus 28 (20) seconds respectively, P < 0.0005 (Wilcoxon). The median percentage underestimation improved from 24% to 16% and then 4% using the VFT90, VFT100 and CRD, respectively.
This is the first study to compare APG parameters with duplex by performing simultaneous measurements. There was an excellent correlation between the VFT90 versus duplex RT, thereby comparing reverse flow in a single superficial vein against the legs overall venous haemodynamic status. These tests can both be used in the quantification of reflux.