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Effect of Externally Applied Pressure on Femoral Vein Blood Flow

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: (Published 21 March 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:719
  1. M. Spiro,
  2. V. C. Roberts,
  3. J. B. Richards


    The effect of incremental increases in external pressure, applied to the leg, on blood volume flow in the femoral vein was studied in dogs. Clinical investigation of external pressure increases was also carried out on nine patients undergoing surgery for varicose veins. An external pressure between 5 and 15 mm. Hg caused a sustained increase in mean femoral vein flow both in a control and in the compressed limb. Above 15 mm. Hg external pressure flow decreased in the compressed limb but was maintained at an increased level in the control limb.

    If external compression is to be used to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis its application must be carefully controlled.