Venous emptying from the foot: influences of weight bearing, toe curls, electrical stimulation, passive compression, and posture
Broderick, B. J.
Corley, G. J.
Breen, P. P.
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Broderick, B. J. Corley, G. J.; Quondamatteo, F.; Breen, P. P.; Serrador, J.; OLaighin, G. (2010). Venous emptying from the foot: influences of weight bearing, toe curls, electrical stimulation, passive compression, and posture. Journal of Applied Physiology 109 (4), 1045-1052
This study investigated the hemodynamic properties of the plantar venous plexus (PVP), a peripheral venous pump in the human foot, with Doppler ultrasound. We investigated how different ways of introducing mechanical changes vary in effectiveness of displacing blood volume from the PVP. The contribution of the PVP was analyzed during both natural and device-elicited compressions. Natural compressions consisted of weight bearing on the foot and toe curl exercises. Device-elicited compressions consisted of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) of the foot and electrically elicited foot muscle contractions. Ten healthy participants had their posterior tibial, peroneal, anterior tibial, and popliteal vein blood flow monitored while performing these natural and device-elicited compressions of the PVP supine and in an upright position. Results indicated that 1) natural compression of the PVP, weight bearing and toe curls, expelled a significantly larger volume of blood than device-elicited PVP compression, IPC and electrical stimulation; 2) there was no difference between the venous volume elicited by weight bearing and by toe curls; 3) expelled venous volume recorded at the popliteal vein under all test conditions was significantly greater than that recorded from the posterior tibial and peroneal veins; 4) there was no significant difference between the volume in the posterior tibial and peroneal veins; 5) ejected venous volume recorded in the upright position was significantly higher than that recorded in the supine position. Our study shows that weight bearing and toe curls make similar contributions to venous emptying of the foot.