Chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulceration

I C Valencia, A Falabella, R S Kirsner, W H Eaglstein
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2001, 44 (3): 401-21; quiz 422-4

UNLABELLED: Venous ulcers are the most common form of leg ulcers. Venous disease has a significant impact on quality of life and work productivity. In addition, the costs associated with the long-term care of these chronic wounds are substantial. Although the exact pathogenic steps leading from venous hypertension to venous ulceration remain unclear, several hypotheses have been developed to explain the development of venous ulceration. A better understanding of the current pathophysiology of venous ulceration has led to the development of new approaches in its management. New types of wound dressings, topical and systemic therapeutic agents, surgical modalities, bioengineered tissue, matrix materials, and growth factors are all novel therapeutic options that may be used in addition to the "gold standard," compression therapy, for venous ulcers. This review discusses current aspects of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic assessment, and current therapeutic options for chronic venous insufficiency and venous ulceration. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;44:401-21.)

LEARNING OBJECTIVE: At the conclusion of this learning activity, participants should be familiar with the 3 main types of lower extremity ulcers and should improve their understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, risk factors, clinical presentation, diagnostic assessment, and current therapies for chronic venous insufficiency and venous ulcers.

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