What is the disease course of untreated venous insufficiency?

Updated: Oct 22, 2018
  • Author: Robert Weiss, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Untreated venous insufficiency in the deep or superficial system causes a progressive syndrome (chronic venous insufficiency [CVI]). Historically, CVI was known as postphlebitic syndrome and postthrombotic syndrome, terms referring to the conditions that cause most cases. However, these terms have been largely abandoned because they do not include another common cause of the disease, the congenital absence of venous valves.

In addition to poor cosmesis, CVI can lead to chronic life-threatening infections of the lower extremities. Pain, especially after ambulation, is a hallmark of the disease. CVI causes characteristic changes, called lipodermatosclerosis, to the skin of the lower extremities, which lead to eventual skin ulceration. [1]


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