Flight microangiopathy in medium- to long-distance flights: prevention of edema and microcirculation alterations with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica

Angiology. 2001 Oct:52 Suppl 2:S33-7.


The aim of this study was the evaluation of microcirculatory alterations associated with edema in passengers travelling for more than 3 hours and the study of the effects of TTFCA (total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica) on the development of microcirculation alterations and edema, in a prospective, randomized study. Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF), transcutaneous PO2 and PCO2, rate of ankle swelling (RAS) were used. Subjects were randomized after informed consent into two groups: one control group (no drug or other treatment), and a treatment group (TTFCA 60 mg thrice daily for 2 days before the flight, the day of the flight, and for another day after the flight). Inclusion criteria were age range between 30 and 50, mild-moderate superficial venous disease with varicose veins. Subjects traveled in economy class. In controls there was a progressive increase in CO2, RAS, and edema score and a progressive decrease in flux (RF) and venoarteriolar response with flying time. The variations in all parameters were milder (p>0.05) in the TTFCA group. RAS and edema were significantly lower in the TTFCA-treated group (p<0.025). The progressive increase in RAS, PCO2, and the decrease in VAR and O2 were linearly associated with flight time (up to 10 hours). These results are very interesting and indicate an option for patients prone to edema and microcirculation disturbances during long flights.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Edema / drug therapy*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Edema / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Travel*
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Venous Insufficiency / drug therapy*
  • Venous Insufficiency / etiology
  • Venous Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Venous Insufficiency / prevention & control*


  • Plant Extracts
  • TECA
  • Triterpenes