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The relationship between the functional status of the venous valves in the superficial and deep veins and ulceration was evaluated in 42 patients. Twenty-five patients had ulcers, 12 of these patients had a history of previous deep venous thrombosis and 13 of these patients denied such an event. Seventeen patients had normal ankle skin, 10 of these patients had a documented history of deep vein thrombosis and seven of these patients had varicose veins only. An ultrasonic duplex scanner was used to document the presence of reflux in all segments of the superficial and deep system. In the entire group of 25 limbs with ulceration, valvular incompetence was noted in 22 limbs at levels involving segments that communicated with the ulcer-bearing area. Of the 17 limbs with normal ankle skin, in only two instances was a single segment of posterior tibial vein in midcalf found to be incompetent. For those patients with normal ankle skin and a history of varicose veins, the deep veins below the common femoral vein level were always competent.
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Accepted: July 26, 1990
☆Supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant HL-36095-02 and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), The Hague.
© 1991 Published by Elsevier Inc.