Effect of External Sequential Compression Devices on Femoral Venous Blood Flow

David C. Markel, MD, Gary D. Morris, MD

Disclosures

J South Orthop Assoc. 2002;11(1) 

In This Article

Results

Baseline mean venous velocity measurements above the saphenous bifurcation, corresponding to the superficial venous system, were 0.086 m/sec for the foot device, 0.085 m/sec for the calf-length device, 0.089 m/sec for the thigh-length device, and 0.090 m/sec for active motion. After initiation of the devices, mean measurements were 0.094 m/sec for the foot device, 0.10 m/sec for the calf-length device, 0.099 m/sec for the thigh-length device, and 0.113 m/sec for active motion ( Table 1 ). This change represented a 9.3% increase of blood flow velocity in the foot device, 17.6% increase in the calf-length device, 11.2% increase in the thigh-length device, and 25.6% increase for active motion ( Table 2 ). Thus, all devices increased peak venous velocity over baseline in the superficial venous system. Paired t tests and analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant differences between the devices or active motion.

Baseline mean blood flow velocity below the saphenous bifurcation (deep venous system) were 0.070 m/sec for the foot device, 0.069 for the calf-length device, 0.064 for the thigh-length device, and 0.070 for active motion. After initiating the devices, mean velocity measurements increased to 0.078 m/sec for the foot device, 0.084 for the calf-length device, 0.069 for the thigh-length device, and 0.083 for active motion ( Table 1 ). The percentage increase was 11.4% for the foot device, 21.7% for the calf-length device, 0.032 for the thigh-length device, and 21.4% for active motion ( Table 2 ), indicating that all devices increased peak venous velocity in the deep venous system. No statistically significant differences were noted between the devices or active motion relative to blood flow velocity in the deep venous system.

Mean baseline volume measurements above the saphenous bifurcation (superficial venous system) were 465 mL/min for the foot device, 443 mL/min for the calf-length device, 466 mL/min for the thigh-length device, and 536 mL/min for active motion. When the devices were activated, mean volume measurements increased to 596 mL/min for the foot device, 718 mL/min for the calf-length device, 586 mL/min for the thigh-length device, and 753 mL/min for active motion ( Table 3 ). The corresponding percentage increases over baseline were 28.2% for the foot device, 62.1% for the calf-device, 25.8% for the thigh-length device, and 40.5% increase for active motion ( Table 2 ). The increase over baseline in all devices indicated that all devices were effective at increasing venous blood flow volume. Statistical analysis using paired t tests and analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant differences among the devices or active motion with a single exception, The calf-length device increased blood flow volume more than the thigh-length device (P = .04).

Mean baseline volume measurements taken below the bifurcation (deep venous system) resulted in values of 400 mL/min for the foot device, 364 for the calf-length device, 295 for the thigh-length device, and 338 for active motion. With the devices activated, corresponding values were 446 mL/min for the foot device, 473 for the calf-length device, 390 for the thigh-length device, and 514 for active motion ( Table 3 ). The percentage increase for each device was 11.5% for the foot device, 29.9% for the calf-length device, 32.2% for the thigh-length device, and 52.1% for active motion ( Table 2 ). All devices increased blood flow volume over baseline in the deep venous system of the lower extremity. Once again, paired t tests and analysis of variance failed to detect any statistically significant differences among the devices or active motion.

Analysis of the data generated from the control group of young healthy volunteers revealed an increase in the venous blood flow volume and velocity in both the superficial and deep venous systems with all devices. As in the operative group, no statistically significant differences were noted between the devices. However, when the devices were compared with muscle activity (blood flow after rapid flexion and extension of the foot 20 times), the muscles increased blood flow volume and velocity to a greater extent than all devices and in a highly significant fashion (P < .01).

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