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The pathology of venous stasis dermatitis - Buffalo Niagara Vein Treatment Center and
Thursday, August 22, 2013



Venous stasis dermatitis is one of the final common pathways in the development of chronic venous insufficiency with venous hypertension being the underlying or underpinning cause.  Valvular venous insufficiency, failure of the calf muscle pump and deep vein thrombosis contribute to venous hypertension.  Over the course of many years, untreated venous insufficiency can cause stasis dermatitis (venous stasis eczema), hyperpigmentation, lipodermatosclerosis and venous stasis ulcers.


Biopsy is generally not necessary in making the diagnosis of venous stasis dermatitis.  Venous stasis dermatitis is also known as gravitational eczema and venous eczema.  The reason that a skin biopsy may not be necessary is because patients have other signs such as hyperpigmentation, leg swelling, and also symptoms that are consistent with venous insufficiency and help clinch the diagnosis – these include aching and pain in the legs, heaviness, tiredness and fatigue of the legs, itching, cramping and throbbing of the legs.  The diagnosis of venous insufficiency is confirmed by duplex ultrasonography.


Dermal changes include proliferation of small blood vessels in the dermis, fibrosis of the skin, perivascular lymphocytic infiltration, extravasated erythrocytes, and macrophages that are laden with hemosiderin.  There are also signs on histological examination which include dilated capillaries with fibrin cuffs, hemosiderin deposition, and hyperplasia of the veins or venules.


For the treatment of venous stasis dermatitis contact Hratch Karamanoukian, MD FACS at the Vein Treatment Center with offices in Williamsville, New York and Clarence, New York or contact him via or or call 716-839-3638.


Dr. Karamanoukian is Board Certified in surgery, thoracic surgery (cardiovascular surgery) and phlebology (diseases of the veins and lymphatic system). or are partners with






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