Showing posts with label venous stasis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label venous stasis. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

Venous Leg Ulcers

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Venous Insufficiency or back up pressure in the leg veins is a vexing problem. Patients are disturbed because of occasional discomfort as well as the cosmetic appearance of the condition, which starts as skin discoloration and almost inevitably progresses to open wounds.
So what can be done for a patient who has failed elevation, compression, pentoxifylline, and aspirin?

The Research
An article published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggested that simvastatin may be a useful tool against venous ulcers. These are superficial irregular shaped wounds usually around the ankles caused by backed up pressure in the leg veins. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 66 patients with venous insufficiency ulcers treated for up to 10 weeks with simvastatin 40 mg/d or placebo. All patients were also advised to make use of compression and elevation, as well as other standard ulcer therapy during the study.

The Results
Overall, 90% of patients in the simvastatin group experienced wound healing, compared with only 34% of those in the placebo group, and time to healing was faster in the simvastatin group than in the placebo group.

Venous Ulcers and Simvastatin: Outcomes

Further, in patients with ulcers measuring 5 cm or less, 100% in the simvastatin group experienced wound healing, while only 50% in the placebo group did, and 67% of those with ulcers measuring greater than 5 cm in the simvastatin group experienced wound healing compared with 0% in the placebo group.

What’s the “Take-Home”?
The next step for many of these patients would have been surgical treatments, so I think we can celebrate the fact that we have an agent here that we are very familiar with and that is inexpensive that may make a major difference in healing. Whether statins other than simvastatin might work equally well is unknown, but since the dose and expense of simvastatin are accessible to essentially all of our patients, until further data confirm efficacy of other agents, it’s probably best to stick with simvastatin. This is a game changer.

Reference: Evangelista MTP, Casintahan MFA, Villafuerte LL. Simvastatin as a novel therapeutic agent for venous ulcers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2014;170(5):1151-1157.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lipedema, Lymphedema and Fat Legs

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The 4 main causes for enlarging leg girth or circumference are lipedema (accumulation of fat in the legs), lymphedema (obstruction of lymph flow in the leg), obesity and impaired venous blood circulation (venous stasis). Lymphedema is observed as swelling that usually involves the feet and shows up as impaired flow on lymphangiograms or lymphoscintigraphy . With time the swelling becomes hard and uncompressible and the skin breaks down and becomes infected. Impaired venous circulation is observed as swelling with brown darkening of the skin color, skin break down and inflammation. The blocked veins are visualized by doppler sonography studies using sound waves transmitted through the skin. This blog will focus on lipedema also known as lipoedema in Europe.

The areas of fat concentration tend to be abdominal in aging men, hips and thighs in aging women and buttocks in certain races as those individuals age. The age at which this occurs varies from person to person. Changes in metabolism and fat deposition can also occur more quickly at puberty, after childbirth, gynecologic surgery, with the onset of thyroid disease or menopause. It is easier to lose fat from areas in which your body tends to not concentrate fat. The fat doesn't go to one place and then another as in first, second etc.. It goes all over but more of it is stored in specific areas and it is mobilized from other areas more easily. In some cases the concentration can be dramatic such as very large buttocks with skinny arms and legs, steatopygia, which is more common in certain African tribes.

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