December 1966

Is Venous Blood Flow in the Left Leg Less Than in the Right?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester.

Arch Surg. 1966;93(6):938. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330060082006

IN A RECENT series of 34 patients with deep venous thrombosis, Smith1 found that 29 cases involved the left and 5 the right leg. Similarly, Hafner et al2 noted that deep venous thrombosis occurred more commonly in the left lower extremity than in the right, with a ratio of 31:10 in his cases. He suggested that the anatomic cause for this finding may be that the left iliac vein is compressed between the right iliac artery and the pelvic brim. However, Brockman and Vasko,3 in a collective review of the literature on phlegmasia cerulea dolens, observed that 115 cases were in the right leg, 110 in the left leg, and 32 bilateral. Comparison of blood flows in the legs is therefore of interest in its relationship to the distribution of deep venous thrombosis in the extremities. The present study represents the simultaneous determinations of bilateral femoral venous

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