In Vivo and In Vitro Assessment of Human Saphenous Vein Wall Changes Alternate Title: Varicose Veins Wall Changes

Akram M Asbeutah*, a, Sami K Asfarb, Hussain Safarb, Mabayoje A Oriowoc, Ihab ElHagrassid, Mona A Abu-Assie, James D Camerona, Barry P McGratha
a Department of Medicine, Monash University and Department of Vascular Sciences in Southern Health, Dandenong Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
b Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University and Department of Surgery-Vascular Unit, Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Kuwait
c Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait
d Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Chest Hospital, Kuwait
e Department of Science, School of Basic Education, Public Authority of Applied Education & Training, Kuwait

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2007 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Radiologic Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 23924, Safat 13110, Kuwait; Tel: 00-965-6518535; Fax: 00-965-5350621; E-mail:


Purpose: To investigate if noradrenaline (NA) and 5-hydroxyptamine (5-HT) drugs induce responses of isolated control and varicose veins are altered by removal of the endothelium.

Subjects & Methods: Specimens of the great saphenous vein (GSV) were obtained from 12 subjects with primary varicose veins and 12 subjects from donor vessels at cardiac surgery. A total of 10 normal healthy volunteers were selected for comparison. The diameter changes of GSV during the resting phase, at the end of 5 minutes occlusion, and then every 30 seconds post deflation for five minutes were measured using B-mode ultrasound. Post-surgery the vein sample was collected in a tube of Krebs-Henseleit solution.

Results: The repeated measure ANOVA test for the diameter, percent, and difference changes of GSV diameter from maximum diameter at different time intervals showed significance difference within and between all groups. NA and 5-HT produced concentration-dependent contractions of control and varicose saphenous vein segments. There was no significant difference in the potency of NA and for 5-HT, but the maximum response, normalized for tissue weight, was less in varicose vein segments. Removal of the endothelium had no effect on the potency of NA or 5-HT but significantly (p<0.05) reduced the maximum response to NA and 5-HT in varicose vein segments but not to 5-HT in control veins.

Conclusion: The venous endothelial damage may cause vascular smooth muscle contractions dysfunction that favours dilatation and secondary valvular insufficiency.

Keywords: Primary varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, noradrenaline, 5-hydroxyptamine, in vivo vein study, in vitro vein study.