Chronic venous disorders: Correlation between visible signs, symptoms, and presence of functional disease

Roberto Chiesa, Enrico Maria Marone, Costanzo Limoni, Marina Volontè, Orlando Petrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of chronic venous disorders (CVD) in different demographic groups in Italy and to provide correlations between patterns of valve incompetence and clinical feature of disease severity. Methods: Advertisements in television and newspapers in 53 Italian cities were used to solicit 16,251 subjects (13,826 women, mean age 50.4 years; 2,425 men, mean age 59.1 years). They underwent a clinical examination of the lower limbs, including presence and severity of visible signs (CEAP classification), and assessment of functional disease by color-coded duplex ultrasound imaging. Results: Varicose veins and telangiectases were the most common objective signs in both men and women. Older people were more severely affected. Telangiectases were more frequent in women, and men had a higher incidence of trunk varices, trophic changes, and venous reflux. Frequency of both visible and functional venous disease increased with family history and body mass index. Presence of reflux correlated positively with increasing CEAP grade of visible disease (P for trend <.0001 for all superficial venous segments). A large number of subjects, especially women, complained of subjective symptoms in the legs, and the presence of symptoms correlated almost always positively with both worsening of visible findings (P for trend <.001) and presence of hemodynamic change in both genders. Conclusions: The frequency of reflux increased with the severity of visible signs of disease as described by the CEAP classification. In men, the occurrence of subjective symptoms was mostly correlated with functional disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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