What is the efficacy of gradient compression stockings for the treatment of superficial thrombophlebitis?

Updated: Apr 17, 2019
  • Author: Khanjan H Nagarsheth, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

Gradient compression stockings are an often-overlooked adjunctive therapy that is both benign and effective. These highly elastic stockings provide a gradient of compression that is highest at the toes (at least 30-40 mm Hg) and gradually decreases to the level of the thigh. This amount of compression reduces capacitive venous volume by approximately 70% and increases the measured velocity of blood flow in the deep veins by a factor of 5 or more. Gradient compression hose also have been shown to increase local and regional intrinsic fibrinolytic activity.

In the early phases of superficial thrombophlebitis in the leg, dangling the extremity without external support from stockings or elastic bandages leads to leg swelling and increased pain.


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