A review of the recent literature relative to the etiology of varicose veins in the lower extremities shows that there is a tendency to accept certain factors as significant. These are chiefly heredity, trauma, increased postural strain, compression or constriction of veins and phlebitis, which may destroy the valves in the venous system (Christopher1). With the exception of phlebitis, it was felt that the other factors per se do not play an essential role, as it seemed logical that there might be some basic anatomic factor to explain the development of this condition.
With this in mind, the following hypothesis is offered:
Since it is definitely known that there are no valves in the inferior vena cava and common iliac veins, it is the role of the valves in the external iliac veins to support the column of blood when in the upright position.
Absence of valves in the
Eger SA, Casper SL. ETIOLOGY OF VARICOSE VEINS FROM AN ANATOMIC ASPECT, BASED ON A DISSECTION OF THIRTY-EIGHT ADULT CADAVERS. JAMA. 1943;123(3):148–149. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.82840380002007a
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