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Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Clinical Overview

Reviewed by Brian R. Robinson, MD

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a result of malfunctioning vein valves in the veins of the leg, which cause blood to back up into an already congested vein. This pooling eventually results in pain, swelling, and skin discoloration. CVI cannot be cured, but the symptoms associated with it can be treated. This can be accomplished by controlling leg swelling and reducing the risk of the development of leg ulceration (open wounds).

Duplex ultrasonography is the method of choice for the evaluation of CVI. This test looks at blood flow in either direction and allows the sound of the flow into an area to be heard. Magnetic resonance venography (MRV) is best test for the assessment of vein disease in the lower legs and pelvis. Ultrasound can also be helpful in identifying areas of abnormal flow.

Last updated: Jan-01-00

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