Graduated elastic compression (GEC) stockings have been demonstrated to reduce the morbidity associated with post-thrombotic syndrome. The ideal length or compression strength required to achieve this is speculative and related to physician preference and patient compliance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic performance of four different stockings and determine the patient's preference.Methods
Thirty-four consecutive patients (40 legs, 34 male) with post-thrombotic syndrome were tested with four different stockings (Mediven plus open toe, Bayreuth, Germany) of their size in random order: class 1 (18–21 mm Hg) and class II (23–32 mm Hg), below-knee (BK) and above-knee thigh-length (AK). The median age, Venous Clinical Severity Score, Venous Segmental Disease Score, and Villalta scale were 62 years (range, 31–81 years), 8 (range, 1–21), 5 (range, 2–10), and 10 (range, 2–22), respectively. The C of C0–6EsAs,d,pPr,o was C0 = 2, C2 = 1, C3 = 3, C4a = 12, C4b = 7, C5 = 12, C6 = 3. Obstruction and reflux was observed on duplex in 47.5% legs, with deep venous reflux alone in 45%. Air plethysmography was used to measure the venous filling index (VFI), venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume. Direct pressure measurements were obtained while lying and standing using the PicoPress device (Microlab Elettronica, Nicolò, Italy). The pressure sensor was placed underneath the test stocking 5 cm above and 2 cm posterior to the medial malleolus. At the end of the study session, patients stated their preferred stocking based on comfort.Results
The VFI, venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume improved significantly with all types of stocking versus no compression. In class I, the VFI (mL/s) improved from a median of 4.9 (range, 1.7–16.3) without compression to 3.7 (range, 0–14) BK (24.5%) and 3.6 (range, 0.6–14.5) AK (26.5%). With class II, the corresponding improvement was to 4.0 (range, 0.3–16.2) BK (18.8%) and 3.7 (range, 0.5–14.2) AK (24.5%). Median stocking pressure (mm Hg) as measured with the PicoPress in class I was 23 (range, 12–33) lying and 27 (range, 19–39) standing (P < .0005) and in class II was 28 (range, 21–40) lying and 32 (range, 23–46) standing (P < .0005). There was a significant but weak correlation (Spearman) between stocking interface pressure measured directly with the PicoPress and the VFI improvement (baseline VFI–compression VFI) at r = .237; P = .005. Twenty-one patients (legs) changed their preference of compression and 38% of these (8/21 patients, 9/21 legs) preferred an AK-GEC stocking.Conclusions
Compression significantly improved all hemodynamic parameters on air plethysmography. However, the hemodynamic benefit did not significantly change with the class or length of stocking. These results support the liberal selection of a GEC stocking based on patient preference.