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Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) Testing

Learn more about Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) and how our PADnet® screening can diagnose this for you!

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) Testing

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a progressive medical condition in which the valves that carry blood from the legs toward the heart no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs and the veins to swell. Varicose veins, which are often misunderstood as a purely cosmetic issue, can progress to this more serious condition called CVI if left untreated. CVI is also known as venous reflux disease or venous insufficiency/vein disease.

Healthy leg veins are designed to allow blood to flow against gravity from the legs back up toward the heart. Inside the veins are tiny valves that open and close to help control the flow and pressure. CVI occurs when stresses on the venous system like pregnancy, age or standing for long periods of time weaken and stretch vein structure. When the veins become weakened or diseased, the blood flow is obstructed and blood pools in the legs. This impaired blood flow (or reflux) causes veins to expand, lose form and protrude from beneath the skin.

Of the over 30 million Americans affected by varicose veins or CVI, only 1.9 million seek treatment annually, while the vast majority remain undiagnosed and untreated. Without treatment, those with CVI may experience progressive symptoms that can be debilitating and significantly impact quality of life.

What Are The Symptoms?

Venous insufficiency frequently manifests itself in the form of leg pain, leg heaviness, leg discoloration or varicose veins. Nearly one in four adults have dark leg veins that appear to be “popping out.”  This condition is called varicose veins.

Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency can include:

  • Leg heaviness and fatigue
  • Leg pain and aching
  • Leg discoloration
  • Varicose veins
  • Swelling in your legs or ankles
  • A tight feeling in your calves or itchy
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Pain when walking that stops when you rest
  • Ulcers, open wounds or sores
  • Leg cramps or spasms
  • Skin changes
  • Uncomfortable urge to move your legs (restless leg syndrome)

Left untreated, CVI can cause more serious complications like ulcers, bleeding, and a life-threatening condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Who Is At Risk?

Individuals with untreated varicose veins are at risk for developing CVI, as the symptoms can progress and become more serious over time. CVI can occur in anyone at any age; however, increased age is a risk factor.

CVI tends to be more prevalent in women who have been pregnant, those who have a family history of the condition or those whose occupations require prolonged standing. Common risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being pregnant
  • Having a family history of vein problems
  • Having previous blood clots, injury, or damage to your legs

What Can I Expect During The Test?

During the exam, you will lay face-up or on your stomach on a moveable exam table.

The patented PADnet® device provides an automated diagnostic procedure that leverages blood pressure cuffs and pneumo (air) plethysmography to perform the following procedures:

  • Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) measurements
  • Segmental blood pressures used to calculate:
  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
  • Toe-Brachial Index (TBI)
  • Segmental-Brachial Index (SBI)
  • Venous Refill Measurements
  • Venous Outflow Measurements

These non-invasive tests help identify vascular disease, and provide data to determine suitable medical or surgical treatment plans for PAD and CVI.

The PPG is used to assess the motion of blood in the lower limb by gauging the transportation and reflux of the blood. The venous refill test is a reliable indicator of venous valvular insufficiency.

What Can I Expect After The Test?

This is a tool for the primary diagnosis of insufficiencies and incompetence (damaged valves that no longer close properly) of the superficial venous system within the lower extremity. It can identify only the presence or absence of disease. It is not intended to find the severity, location or source of reflux, the backward flow of blood. It is not a method of detecting Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

You can book a consultation today by scheduling an appointment online or calling us at (561) 203-9285.

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