Venous muscle pump function during pregnancy. Assessment by ambulatory strain-gauge plethysmography

J R Struckmann, H Meiland, P Bagi, B Juul-Jørgensen

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    The venous muscle pump function was quantitatively assessed through pregnancy weeks 16, 30, 38 and 3 months (week 53) following delivery, in 24 pregnant women who completed a normal pregnancy. A statistically significant increase was found in the mean venous reflux (P less than 0.01), which was restored to initial values postpartum. Expelled calf volume remained stable throughout pregnancy but increased following delivery. Venous outflow from the legs was significantly reduced in the third trimester. Subjective symptoms of venous insufficiency increased through pregnancy, but, these symptoms had virtually disappeared post partum, corresponding to the muscle pump normalization. No statistical correlation was found between venous muscle pump values and changes in hormone concentrations of estradiol, estriol and progesterone. It is suggested that venous insufficiency development in pregnancy is caused primarily by mechanical obstruction, or hormonal influence other than that of estradiol, estriol or progesterone. 17% (4.7-37%) of the women with a normal pregnancy developed a pathological venous muscle pump function.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)209-15
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


    • Adult
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Leg
    • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
    • Plethysmography
    • Pregnancy
    • Pregnancy Complications
    • Prospective Studies
    • Regional Blood Flow
    • Veins
    • Venous Insufficiency


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