Ultrasound patterns of venous disease in patients with venous leg ulcers and morbid obesity

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Abstract

Background/Aims: Obesity affects over two-thirds of the Australian population and is associated with increased risk of venous leg ulceration (VLU). Management is challenging to both patients and staff. Surgical treatment of superficial venous incompetence in patients with VLU reduces ulcer healing time and recurrence, but this has not yet been investigated in patients with obesity. We aimed to determine in patients with VLU and morbid obesity if their ultrasound pattern of superficial venous incompetence was like those patients without morbid obesity. Methods: Consecutive patients attending the outpatient leg ulcer clinic from January to December 2019 were eligible for inclusion if they had an active or healed VLU. Age, gender, BMI, and ulcer sidedness were collected from the electronic medical record and assessed against findings of venous duplex ultrasound. Primary outcome was the proportion of patients with morbid obesity with superficial venous incompetence. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of patients with morbid obesity who were investigated with a duplex ultrasound, and any presence of deep venous incompetence. Results: Of 231 patients that attended 156 were eligible for inclusion. 103 patients had full data and were used for the primary outcome analysis. There were 29 patients (28.2%) with morbid obesity. They were younger than those without morbid obesity (69.0 vs 73.0 years, p.026) with no difference in gender, active or healed ulcer classification (CEAP C5/6), or ulcer sidedness. We found no difference in the proportion of patients with morbid obesity with superficial venous incompetence on ultrasound (72.4% vs 79.7%, p.423). Patients with morbid obesity were equally as likely to undergo ultrasound investigation (73.2% vs 75.8%, p.748). Conclusions: In patients with VLU there appeared no difference in the proportion of patients with morbid obesity with superficial venous incompetence. Directed studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of intervention in this patient population. © The Author(s) 2022.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-738
Number of pages7
JournalPhlebology
Volume37
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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