Compression Stocking Help Reduce Blood Volumes in Leg Veins



This study was designed to explore venous deformation of the lower extremities and the changes in venous hemodynamics in supine position before and after wearing graduated elastic stockings in patients awaiting total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


The leg veins of 21 elderly patients awaiting TKA were imaged in the supine position with and without knee-length graduated compression stockings (GCS) according to a fixed protocol. Measured parameters including the lateromedial (LM) diameter, anteroposterior (AP) diameter, and cross-sectional area (CSA) of the great saphenous vein (GSV), gastrocnemius vein (GV), soleus vein (SV), posterior tibial vein (PTV), fibular vein (FV), and anterior tibial vein (ATV). In addition, the mean and maximum velocities of the popliteal vein (PV) and superficial femoral vein (FSV) were measured.


GCS-related compression was observed for all the measured veins. Maximal reduction was observed for the GV and SV, whereas the GSV exhibited the lowest degree of GCS-related compression. The mean cross-sectional area reduction values associated with GCS were 33.1 ± 41.2 % for the GSV, 94.8 ± 11.1 % for the GV, and 85.6 ± 20.3 % for the SV, while the mean reduction of anteroposterior diameter was 18.1 ± 34.5 % for the GSV, 89.0 ± 22.5 % for the GV, and 72.9 ± 35.1 % for the SV, and the mean reduction of the lateromedial diameter was 25.9 ± 36.4 % for the GSV, 89.6 ± 19.6 % for the GV, 78.2 ± 28.3 % for the SV. No significant GCS-related changes in blood velocity in the superficial femoral veins or popliteal veins were detected.


For elderly patients awaiting TKA, knee-length GCS can significantly reduce calf vein dilation while at rest in the supine position, with the greatest reductions being observed for the soleus and gastrocnemius veins. These data might help provide a theoretical basis for the GCS in reducing incidence of deep vein thrombosis in patients undergoing TKA.Keywords: Graduated compression stockings, Vein diameter, Blood velocity, Venous thrombosis, Thromboprophylaxis