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Diminished Sphenous Compartment Connective Tissue Elasticity has Little Impact on Low Grade Venous Insufficiency: An Ultrasound Shearwave Elastography Study

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 7 ]


Nurten A. Baltacioglu and Derya Tureli*   Pages 897 - 903 ( 7 )


Background: Greater Saphenous Vein (GSV) courses within saphenous compartment, an adipose-filled space bound by fasciae provides structural support. Ultrasound Shear-Wave Elastography (SWE) provides objective and quantitative data on tissue shear elasticity modulus.

Objective: This study aims to analyze possible associations between early stage GSV insufficiency and saphenous intracompartmental SWE measurements.

Methods: Two-hundred consecutive patients, ages 22 to 81 (mean=44.3) years, with venous insufficiency symptoms underwent Doppler and SWE examinations. Patients had no visible or palpable sign of venous disease or had telangiectasia and reticular veins only. Analyses regarding patient age, gender, presence of venous insufficiency of GSV proper and intracompartmental connective tissue elasticity were performed.

Results: Ninety-six patients had Doppler evidence for either bilateral or unilateral insufficiency of GSV proper at mid-thigh level. Intracompartmental elasticity of patients with venous insufficiency (mean=4.36±2.24 kilopascals; range 1.55 to 10.44 kPa) did not differ significantly from those with normal veins (mean=4.82±2.61 kPa; range 2.20 to 12.65 kPa) (p=0.231). No threshold for predicting the presence of venous insufficiency could be determined. Neither were there any correlations between age, gender and intracompartmental elasticity. In patients with unilateral insufficiency, however, elastography values around insufficient veins were significantly lower compared to contralateral normal GSV (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Many intrinsic and patient factors affect intracompartmental connective tissue elastography measurements; thus, cut-off values obtained from specific populations have limited generalizability. Nevertheless, statistically significant intrapatient differences of intracompartmental elasticity among diseased and normal saphenous veins indicate that lack of elastic support from surrounding connective tissues contributes to venous insufficiency in early stages.


Chronic venous disease, shear wave elastography, saphenous compartment, saphenous vein, venous insufficiency, ultrasound.


Radiology Clinic, VKV Amerikan Hospital, Istanbul, Department of Radiology, Marmara University School of Medicine, Istanbul

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