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Thermographic Localization of Incompetent Perforating Veins in the Leg

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: (Published 24 January 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:195
  1. K. D. Patil,
  2. J. R. Williams,
  3. K. Lloyd Williams


    Incompetent perforating veins in the leg were localized separately by clinical and thermographic methods. Clinically, the methods used were a multiple tourniquet test and palpation for fascial defects. Thermographically, the diagnosis of an incompetent perforator was made by finding rapid and localized heat flow to the skin in a cooled limb with occlusion of circulation in the superficial veins distally and proximally. Exploration of all the sites marked clinically or thermographically showed that the clinical method detected 60%, missed 40%, and gave false-positive results in 40%, while thermography detected 94·5%, missed 5·5%, and contributed 13% false-positive results. All these findings show a highly significant difference (P<0.0005) in favour of the thermographic technique as against the clinical method.