Content » Vol 79, Issue 2

Clinical Report

The Role of Low Resistance Blood Flow Pathways in the Pathogenesis and Healing of Venous Leg Ulcers

Ken Malanin, Pertti J Kolari, Väinö K Havu
DOI: 10.1080/000155599750011435


In an attempt to clarify the pathophysiology of haemodynamics in legs with venous ulcer we investigated the effect of a single intermittent pneumatic compression treatment on the peripheral resistance of leg arteries and the cutaneous laser Doppler flux in the leg. Eight patients with venous leg ulcers and 10 subjects with healthy legs were investigated. Doppler waveforms of the leg arteries and laser Doppler flux of the leg skin were recorded before and after a single intermittent pneumatic compression treatment with the subjects in a recumbent position. In the legs with venous ulcer, the peripheral resistance of the arteries was lower and the laser Doppler flux was greater, compared with healthy legs (p=0.003 and p=0.002, respectively). A single intermittent pneumatic compression treatment raised the peripheral resistance in the arteries of legs with ulcer and laser Doppler flux of the skin more in ulcer legs than in healthy legs (p=0.046 and p=0.034, respectively). These findings suggest that removal of oedema causes redistribution of skin blood flow in the legs with venous ulcer favouring the superficial capillary perfusion. This could explain why compression treatment promotes the healing of venous leg ulcers.


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