Objective: Altered venous biomechanics may contribute to the pathogenesis of venous diseases, and their heritability is less known.
Methods and results: Seventy-eight monozygotic twin pairs (aged 42.4 ± 16.8 years) and 24 same-sex dizygotic twin pairs (aged 50.5 ± 16.1 years) were examined. Anteroposterior and mediolateral diameters of the common femoral vein were measured by ultrasonography. Measurements were made both in supine and in standing body positions, with or without controlled forced expiration (Valsalva test). High correlation of diameter, capacity, and distensibility values was found between twin pairs. The univariate heritability (A), shared (C), and unshared (E) environmental effects model has shown 39.3% genetic component of the variance of low pressure, 37.9% of high-pressure venous capacity, and 36.4% of maximal capacity changes, even after elimination of sex, age, and body weight effects. Bivariate Cholesky analysis revealed substantial covariance of inherited body weight and venous capacity components (57.0%-81.4%).
Conclusions: Femoral vein capacity and elasticity depend ≈30% to 40% on genetic factors, and this value in the standing body position can reach 50%. A relatively high genetic covariance was found between weight and femoral vein capacity and elasticity. Our work might yield some new insights into the inheritance of venous diseases that are associated with altered venous biomechanics and help elucidate the involved genes.