To determine whether elastic compression alters the venous hemodynamics in the postphlebitic limb, we measured venous pressure patterns in 11 postphlebitic limbs with and without elastic compression stockings. Following cannulation of a dorsal vein of the foot, the patients underwent measurements of basal resting pressure, maximum percent decrease in venous pressure with exercise (ΔVPex), peak systolic venous pressure during exercise (SVPmax), the amplitude of the pressure swing, and venous return time. Elastic compression did not alter basal resting pressure, ΔVPex, or venous return time. By contrast, SVPmax decreased from 139±0.3 mm Hg to 111±8 mm Hg with elastic compression. If venous ulcers are related to the high pressure developed in the superficial veins during calf muscle systole, then elastic compression may be beneficial by decreasing systolic venous pressure and its subsequent deleterious consequences.
(JAMA 242:2766-2768, 1979)