Pathogenesis of varicose veins

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2012 Jan;23(1):33-9; quiz 40. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2011.09.010. Epub 2011 Oct 26.


Despite the high prevalence of varicose veins and the recent surge in research on the condition, the precise mechanisms underlying their development remain uncertain. In the past decade, there has been a shift from initial theories based on purely mechanical factors to hypotheses pointing to complex molecular changes causing histologic alterations in the vessel wall and extracellular matrix. Despite progress in understanding the molecular aspects of venous insufficiency, therapies for symptomatic varicose veins are directed toward anatomic and physical interventions. The present report reviews current evidence identifying the underlying biochemical alterations in the pathogenesis of varicose veins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Varicose Veins / etiology*
  • Varicose Veins / genetics
  • Varicose Veins / metabolism
  • Varicose Veins / pathology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta