Duplex-derived valve closure times fail to correlate with reflux flow volumes in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.J Vasc Surg 1996; 23(4):606-10JV
The best way to quantitate venous reflux is still a matter of debate. Duplex-derived valve closure time (VCTs) have been used recently because they can be measured easily. We examined the relationships between VCT and duplex-obtained quantitation of venous volume and between VCT and air plethysmography (APG). Sixty-nine legs in 45 patients with varying clinical degrees of chronic venous insufficiency were studied by duplex scan and APG. VCTs were compared with duplex-derived flow calculations and with APG-derived venous filling index and residual volume fraction. The patient's mean age was 47.5 +/- 13.9 years; the mean duration of their symptoms was 13 +/- 4 years. Twenty percent had a history of deep venous thrombosis, and 29% had undergone venous surgery. No correlation was found between VCT and flow volume or between VCT and flow at peak reflux at any of the anatomic locations studied: saphenofemoral junction, greater saphenous vein, lesser saphenous vein, superficial femoral vein, profunda femoris vein, and popliteal vein. Likewise, no correlation was found between total VCT and APG-derived venous filling index or between total flow volumes and APG-derived residual volume fraction. Total VCT and total flow volumes did, however, have a moderate correlation (r = 0.65; p = 0.0003). Duplex-derived VCTs, although extremely useful in determining the presence of reflux, do not correlate with the magnitude of reflux, and should not be used to quantitate the degree of reflux.