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Varicose veins affect one-third of the adult population in western countries, but their pathogenesis is incompletely characterized. One of the most controversial issues is the role of inflammation. It is well known that inflammation involves an increased expression/activity of inflammatory mediators. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence or absence of mediators of inflammation in varicose as compared to healthy veins. Using immunohistofluorescence on varicose and healthy veins, we investigated the presence of inflammatory cells. They were not detectable. Venous wall C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen (EIA) and pentraxin-3 (Western blot) content were measured. CRP was significantly lower in varicose veins, but no difference was found for fibrinogen or pentraxin-3 between varicose and healthy veins. No difference was observed for enzymes involved in inflammation and responsible for arachidonic acid metabolism such as the acute phase reactant secreted phospholipase A₂-IIA and cyclooxygenase-2, as determined in varicose and healthy veins by Western blot and real-time qRT-PCR. Our experiments demonstrate no increase in the presence of mediators of inflammation in varicose as compared to healthy veins, suggesting that inflammation may not be an important contributor to the pathogenesis of varicose veins.


Ingrid Gomez, Chabha Benyahia, Julien Le Dall, Christine Payré, Liliane Louedec, Guy Leséche, Gérard Lambeau, Dan Longrois, Xavier Norel. Absence of inflammatory conditions in human varicose saphenous veins. Inflammation research : official journal of the European Histamine Research Society ... [et al.]. 2013 Mar;62(3):299-308

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PMID: 23238795

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