Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition in which the valves in the leg veins do not function properly, and the return circulation of blood to the heart is impaired.

Symptoms of CVI may include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Leg ulcers
  • Itching (pruritis)
  • Hyperpigmentation (dark discoloration of the skin)
  • Swelling of the legs and ankles
  • Skin abnormalities including eczema, thickening, increased risk of infection, and inflammation.
  • Pain while walking

Causes of CVI

Risk factors include the same factors that predispose people to spider veins and varicose veins:

  • A history of blood clots
  • Family history
  • Hormonal factors
  • Advancing age
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Prolonged standing
  • Prolonged sitting with legs crossed
  • Wearing tight undergarments or clothes
  • A history of blood clots
  • Injury to the veins

Chronic venous insufficiency may also be caused by factors including:

  • Damage to the valves in the veins from injury
  • Clots in the veins
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of a superficial vein)
  • Inherited clotting disorders