Varicose Vein Treatment: Is Blood Different In Varicose Veins?

Varicose Vein Treatment: Is Blood Different In Varicose Veins?

For anyone on the verge of needing varicose vein treatment, there is a natural curiosity about how their varicose veins formed in the first place. Yes, most experts attribute varicose veins to genetics, pregnancy, or sitting/standing too much. However, people want to know what is the actual mechanism that causes these varicose veins. They’re hoping there’s something they can do to prevent them or lessen them. There’s also a natural desire to understand what’s causing their varicose veins to get progressively worse, potentially causing the need for more varicose vein treatment down the road.

A 2014 article, entitled “Do Blood Constituents in Varicose Veins Differ From the Systemic Blood Constituents?,” funded by the European Society for Vascular Surgery, and published in the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, shed light on how blood chemistry can play a role in varicose vein disease. Vein scientists have a “geek speak” language all to their own, so we’ll break this down into what’s most important to know about this study below in plain simple English 🙂

Please note that varicose vein disease includes venous hypertension (high blood pressure in veins), deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in deep veins), damaged vein valves, distorted weakened vein walls, and chronic inflammation of the endothelial layer of the inner vein wall. It also includes all the symptoms of the disease such as edema (swelling of the tissues due to accumulating fluid), aching, stinging, itching, sleepless leg syndrome, and in advanced stages, venous ulcers.

This study involved forty patients, all about to get sclerotherapy varicose vein treatment, who agreed to be part of the study. The average age was 54.2. The average body mass index (BMI) was 29.7 (borderline obese). There were four males and thirty-six females. Eighty-five percent of the participants had a reported family history of varicose veins. A little over a third of them smoked. These patients were diagnosed for needing sclerotherapy varicose vein treatment using duplex ultrasound.

Blood samples were drawn from superficial varicose veins, i.e. varicose veins you can see at the surface of the skin. These superficial varicose veins included ones that were dilated and others that were tortuous (twisted). Blood samples were also drawn from normal veins where no varicosity was detected.

All of the blood samples were analyzed chemically and compared to see if there were any statistical differences in the blood chemistry that could attribute to the development of varicose veins and to the continued progression of their varicose vein disease. Red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and the hematocrit (the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood) were also examined.

From a physical perspective, varicose veins form when there are dilated veins, weakened vein walls, and faulty vein valves. However, this study concentrated on the chemical factors in the blood that may play a role. These included signs of inflammation in the blood inside varicose veins, referred to as “inflammation markers.” These included CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), D-dimer, and vWF. They were also looking for signs of enzymes involved in the break down of blood clots (fibrinolysis) and in signs for endothelial tissue (inner lining of vein walls) breakdown.

The results were not only significant from a statistical point of view, they were also clear just by looking at them. There were definite signs of inflammation and break down of both blood clots and endothelial tissue in varicose veins. It was also true that these markers were much higher in varicose veins than in normal veins, in the same people. This was the first study to look at these factors and the results indicate more research should be done in this area.

This could potentially lead to knowledge that could prevent these damaging factors that lead to the need for varicose vein treatment, or at least lessen them. For example, with this knowledge in mind, there may be prescription medications or natural remedies that could be used to reduce vein inflammation in those individuals who have seen their older family members needing varicose vein treatment.

Older studies have shown that carbon dioxide (a harmful waste product) is higher in the blood of varicose veins than in the blood in normal veins. Oxygen levels are just the opposite. Estradiol, a form of estrogen, has been found to be higher in varicose veins in the upper leg. All of this is pointing to the fact that the blood chemistry in a varicose vein is different than the blood in a normal vein and that these factors may contribute to continued progression of varicose vein disease.

If you are contemplating varicose vein treatment, it is best to be thoroughly evaluated by one of the top varicose vein treatment clinics that specialize in this specific area of medicine. You can get a free evaluation at Metro Vein Centers and go over the various options for varicose vein treatment, pros and cons for all. Metro Vein Centers is well respected and gets many referrals from other doctors who trust their expertise in this area. However, you do not need a referral to set up an appointment for an evaluation. Just give them a call.

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