Detecting Venous Reflux Using a Sixty-Degree Reverse Trendelenburg (RT-60) Position in Symptomatic Patients With Chronic Venous Disease.J Invasive Cardiol 2016; 28(9):370-2JI
The optimal technique to detect venous reflux requires a patient to be standing with weight on one leg while the other leg is scanned for superficial venous reflux (standing position [SP] technique). This represents a significant hardship for a subset of patients who are unable to stand and adequately maintain their balance. This study examines the predictability of identifying venous reflux using a reverse Trendelenburg 60° (RT-60) when compared with the SP in the great saphenous vein (GSV) and small saphenous vein (SSV).
After obtaining informed consent, consecutive symptomatic patients were studied for venous reflux in the GSV and SSV using both SP and RT-60 during the same visit to the diagnostic laboratory. Reflux was analyzed in both SSV (proximal, mid, and distal segments) and GSV (proximal, mid-thigh, distal-thigh, and below-the-knee segments). Reflux was defined as duration of retrograde venous flow >0.5 seconds following rapid cuff deflation. Patients with heart failure, prior limb surgery, history of deep vein thrombosis, cellulitis, known severe pulmonary hypertension, end-stage renal disease, lymphedema, or trauma were excluded. We calculated the percentage of segments that had reflux on RT-60 out of those with reflux on SP, and the percentage of no reflux on RT-60 out of those with no reflux on SP.
A total of 33 patients (56 limbs, 252 segments) were included in this analysis. Mean age was 65 ± 12.4 years and 54.5% were male. All patients were symptomatic (mean clinical, etiology, anatomy, pathophysiology [CEAP] class, 3.5). Deep venous reflux was present in 3/33 patients (9.1%). Of the patients enrolled, 93.9% noted worsening swelling of their lower extremities with standing up and 53.6% of limbs were CEAP class IV or higher. All limbs with no reflux on RT-60 had no reflux using the SP and 48/49 limbs (98%) with reflux on SP also had reflux on the RT-60.
RT-60 appears to capture 98% and 100% of positive and negative reflux scans on SP, respectively, when GSV and SSV were evaluated. These findings, however, may not apply to the remainder of the venous system of the lower extremity, where SP may continue to be the standard for venous reflux evaluation.