Effect of obesity on venous blood flow in the lower limbs

Ewan A. Langan, Malte Wienandt, Andreas Bayer, Lena Ellebrecht, Birgit Kahle*

*Corresponding author for this work


Background and objectives: Although obesity is a recognized risk factor for the development of lower limb venous disease, less attention has been paid to objectively measuring the effect of centripetal obesity on blood flow in the lower limbs. Patients and methods: The diameter of lower limb veins and venous blood flow were measured in 44 patients (65.6 ± 12.5 years, 25 females, 19 males) with centripetal obesity and chronic venous disease. Results: The mean diameter of both common femoral veins (CFV) increased significantly in the semi-supine position following elevation of the panniculus (right: ∆0.73 ± 1.21 mm; p ≤ 0.001, left: ∆1.16 ± 1.42 mm; p ≤ 0.001). Moreover, there was a significant increase in venous flow volume in the left CFV (∆62.96 ± 117.85 ml/min; p = 0.001). Similarly, there was an increase in the diameter of left great saphenous vein (∆0.24 ± 0.41 mm; p = 0.002), measured at the mid-thigh, when the patient lifted their abdominal panniculus. Finally, the grade of obesity correlated with the extent of the venous disease. Conclusions: These data provide preliminary evidence that centripetal obesity results in both structural and hemodynamic changes in the lower limb veins, even in the absence of classical reflux.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJDDG - Journal of the German Society of Dermatology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 06.2023

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-19 Dermatology

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