Use of durometry in assessment of venous disease.

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OBJECTIVES Ulceration of the lower limbs is a common debilitating complication of chronic venous hypertension. Detection of preulcerative skin changes would allow for identification of high-risk patients; early active treatment may prevent ulcer formation. METHODS Patients with isolated venous disease and volunteers attending outpatient clinics underwent assessment of their clinical, aetiological, anatomical and pathological (CEAP) classification. We employed an industrial durometer, an instrument that measures the hardness of metals and plastic, to assess skin induration. The durometer probe was rested perpendicular on their skin 15 cm above the medial malleolus in non-ulcerated tissue, with the patient and limb in recumbency. The average of four measurements was derived. RESULTS In 107 people, 203 lower limbs (mean age 55.6 years) were assessed. A significant difference in durometry readings was demonstrated between patients with CEAP classes 0, 1 and 2, and those with classes 4, 5 and 6 (P <0.0005). There was statistically significant evidence that age and CEAP classification correlated with durometry (P <0.0001). CONCLUSION Durometry is of potential value in the assessment and monitoring of preulcerative venous disease, and could help to identify high-risk patients. This would assist in the institution of timely and appropriate treatment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-9
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010