We investigated whether parameters of air plethysmography (APG) were correlated with types of superficial venous reflux as categorized by ascending venography in patients with primary varicose veins.
Two hundred and eight limbs with primary varicose veins in 135 patients were evaluated by both APG and ascending venography. Venous hemodynamics was assessed with APG. The location of incompetent vein segments was determined based on the results of ascending venography.
Seventy-seven limbs had incompetence of the greater saphenous vein (GSV, G group), 36 had incompetence of the lesser saphenous vein (LSV, L group), and 77 had incompetence of the GSV and LSV (GL group). Twenty-five limbs did not have incompetence of the GSV or LSV (N group). The venous filling index (VFI) differed significantly between the N and the G and GL groups, the L group and the G and GL groups, and the G and GL groups. No significant difference was found between the N and L groups. The venous volume, ejection fraction, and residual volume fraction did not differ significantly among all four groups.
The VFI as measured by APG discriminates well between limbs with incompetence of the GSV and those without incompetence of the GSV or LSV, and between limbs with incompetence of the GSV and those with the LSV in patients with primary varicose veins, suggesting that the hemodynamic severity of superficial venous reflux progresses with involvement from the LSV to the GSV to both saphenous veins.