The role of air plethysmography (APG) in the diagnosis of chronic venous insufficiency has not been well established. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relationship between APG parameters and clinical severity in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.
Two hundred and ninety-four limbs in 154 patients with primary varicose veins were evaluated by APG. Limbs were categorized according to the clinical classification of chronic venous disease suggested by the Ad Hoc Committee on Reporting Standards in Venous Disease of the North American Chapter of the Society for Vascular Surgery and International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery (SVS/ ISCVS).
The venous filling index (VFI) was significantly higher in classes 2, 3, 4, and 5+6 than in class 0 or 1, and did not differ among classes 2, 3, 4, 5+6. The ejection fraction did not differ significantly among the 6 classes, and the residual volume fraction was significantly higher in classes 2, 3, 5+6 than in class 0.
APG is a reasonable method for distinguishing the presence or absence of chronic venous insufficiency, but it cannot discriminate the clinical severity. Among APG parameters, the VFI is the most useful diagnostic parameter in the evaluation of chronic venous insufficiency.