Advances in Therapy

, 25:465 | Cite as

Effects of graduated compression stockings with different pressure profiles on lower-limb venous structures and haemodynamics

  • Rong Liu
  • Terence T. Lao
  • Yi Lin Kwok
  • Yi Li
  • Michael Tin-Cheung Ying
Original Research

Abstract

Introduction

Graduated compression stockings (GCS) are one of the essential mechanical therapeutic approaches used in prevention and treatment of venous diseases. Pressure levels and gradient distribution are the two determined parameters influencing the performance of GCS products. However, the effects of GCS with different pressure profiles on venous function remain controversial in practical use.

Objective

To determine the physiological effects of GCS with different pressure levels and gradient distribution profiles on the venous function of the lower extremities.

Methods

At specific testing points along the long and short saphenous veins (LSV, SSV) and popliteal veins (PV) of the lower extremities, Doppler ultrasound techniques were used to examine venous cross-sectional areas (VA, cm2), the venous peak blood flow (PVpeak, cm/sec) and venous mean blood flow (PVmean, cm/sec) velocities in twelve female subjects wearing GCS with varying pressure profiles in a controlled laboratory environment. The Doppler examination was conducted three times during the 4-hour period (after wearing GCS for 1 minute, 70 minutes, and 170 minutes) in each subject.

Results

The pressure levels of GCS and duration of wear had statistically significant influences on the venous anatomy and venous haemodynamics. GCS with light, mild, moderate and strong pressures increased the popliteal PVpeak by 9.64%, 25.74%, 29.91% and 26.47%, respectively, and significantly decreased the VA. The GCS maintained these venous haemodynamics over time. No significant differences in blood flow were found between the mild, moderate and strong pressure GCS.

Conclusion

The application of GCS with light and mild compression profiles appear to be effective in achieving a reduction in venous dilation and venous pooling, and improving venous return in the lower extremities. GCS with lighter pressures may be more suitable for subjects whose daily work requires long-term inactive standing or sitting, and GCS with mild pressure appear to be sufficient for most clinical applications.

Keywords

blood flow compression stockings pressure levels venous anatomy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Healthcare Communications 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rong Liu
    • 1
  • Terence T. Lao
    • 2
  • Yi Lin Kwok
    • 3
  • Yi Li
    • 3
  • Michael Tin-Cheung Ying
    • 4
  1. 1.College of TextilesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyFaculty of Medicine, University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  3. 3.Institute of Textiles and ClothingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongHong Kong
  4. 4.Department of Health Technology and InformaticsThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongHong Kong

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