Purpose: The incidence of deep venous thrombosis increases significantly with age. Attempts to explain this association have failed to identify factors that could be contributory. We hypothesized that age-related changes in venous physiologic parameters might contribute to an increased risk of deep venous thrombosis. Methods: Air plethysmography was used to measure a number of physiologic parameters in two sets of patients. Group A consisted of 17 subjects (33 limbs), age range 23 to 40 years. Group B consisted of 11 subjects (22 limbs), age range 60 to 83 years. No subject in either group had peripheral vascular disease or a history of deep venous thrombosis. Parameters measured were venous volume, venous filling index, ejection volume, ejection fraction, residual volume fraction, and outflow fraction. Results: Venous volume and ejection fraction were significantly reduced in Group B compared with Group A. Residual volume fraction was significantly increased in Group B compared with Group A. There were no statistically significant differences in outflow fraction, venous filling index, or ejection fraction between the two groups. Conclusions: These results suggest that the efficiency of the calf muscle pump diminishes with increasing age, possibly contributing to the increased incidence of deep venous thrombosis in the elderly.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine