Venous hemodynamics during impulse foot pumping

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Purpose: This study was designed to measure the effect of intermittent pneumatic compression of the plantar venous plexus on popliteal vein (PV) and common femoral vein (CFV) velocities measured by duplex ultrasound scanning. Methods: Thirty lower limbs in 15 healthy volunteers had venous duplex scanning measurement of PV and CFV velocities before and during foot pumping with an arteriovenous impulse foot pump system. Venous velocities were measured at two pump pressure settings (100 mm Hg, 200 mm Hg) and during two pump impulse durations (short = l second, normal = 3 seconds). All limbs were examined with the subjects in the supine position, and then measurements were repeated with subjects in the 15-degree reverse Trendelenburg position. The mean maximum venous velocity (MVV) produced by foot pumping was compared with resting venous velocity at each anatomic location and for each technologic variable. Results: Impulse foot pumping produced a statistically significant increase in MVV in both the PV and the CFV compared with resting velocities. This significant increase was observed for both pressure settings and both impulse durations, and no differences produced by these two individual variables could be detected. The increase in MVV produced by foot pumping was similar for limbs in the supine position and those examined in the reverse Trendelenburg position. The percentage increase in MVV produced by foot pumping was significantly higher in the PV than in the CFV. Conclusions: Intermittent pneumatic compression of the plantar venous plexus produces measurable increases in venous outflow from the lower limbs of normal subjects. This study seems to justify further evaluation of the effectiveness of this technique for mechanical deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in selected high-risk patient groups. (J VASC SURG 1995;22:598-605.). © 1995 Society for Vascular Surgery and International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter.




Killewich, L. A., Sandager, G. P., Nguyen, A. H., Lilly, M. P., & Flinn, W. R. (1995). Venous hemodynamics during impulse foot pumping. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 22(5), 598–605.

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