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November 1990

Evaluation of Methods for Detecting Venous RefluxPerspectives in Venous Insufficiency

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(11):1463-1467. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410230057010

• Using 793 limbs with nonobstructive venous reflux, we evaluated a number of techniques used for the assessment of venous reflux. The venous Doppler examination was found to be a reliable screening tool with excellent sensitivity and good specificity. Photoplethysmography was 97% sensitive in patients with ambulatory venous hypertension; however, in milder forms of reflux, it was less sensitive. The major drawback of photoplethysmography was the large number of false-positive results obtained. Ambulatory venous pressure measurement and another pressure-based technique, Valsalva-induced foot venous pressure measurement, defined overlapping but different normal and abnormal limbs. Descending venography, when performed as described by Kistner et al, was found to be a reliable tool to assess reflux with more than a 90% sensitivity. The horizontal technique of performing descending venography and nucleotide descending venographies had unacceptably low sensitivity and were abandoned. Features of venous reflux as outlined by these modern technical tools are described.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:1463-1467)