What is the role of poor metabolic clearance in the pathogenesis of venous insufficiency?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020
  • Author: Robert Weiss, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Poor clearance of lactate, carbon dioxide, and other products of cellular respiration also contributes to the development of the syndrome. A defect in the clearance of extraneous substances can be quantified: If albumin labeled with a radioactive tracer is injected into the foot tissues, the clearance rate is markedly slowed by deep venous obstruction or by deep or superficial venous incompetence.

Although this effect is referred to as venous stasis, the reduced clearance of cellular metabolites is not always due to true venous stasis. In many cases, the venous blood is moving at a normal speed, but a local recirculation of this venous blood upward through normal veins and downward through varicosities prolongs the average time required for the blood to pass from the heart and lungs through the legs and back to the central circulation.

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