Role of leukocyte activation in patients with venous stasis ulcers

J Surg Res. 1995 Nov;59(5):553-9. doi: 10.1006/jsre.1995.1205.


Alteration in leukocyte activation has been implicated as an etiological factor in the development of chronic venous stasis ulcers (CVSU). The purpose of this study was to determine differences in expression of cell surface activation markers on circulating leukocytes and systemic, soluble, serum cytokine levels between healthy controls and patients with CVSU. Twenty-three patients were separated into two groups. Group I consisted of 12 healthy, adult, age-matched male patients with no venous disease. Group II consisted of 11 adult male patients with CVSU who underwent air plethysmography (APG) and duplex scanning to determine the severity of venous insufficiency. All patients had measurements of systemic, serum-based, soluble IL-1 beta, IL-2, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and beta 2 microglobulin levels. Using fluorescence flow cytometry, we measured the percentage of lymphocytes (CD3), monocytes (CD14), and granulocytes (CD15) expressing various cell surface activation markers. By APG and duplex scan, all group II patients exhibited venous insufficiency, with a mean venous filling index of 6.9 +/- 3.9 sec. Relative to group I, group II patients demonstrated a decreased expression of the CD3+/DR+ (13.3 +/- 1.5, P < or = 0.01) and CD3+/CD38+ (31.1 +/- 2.1, P < or = 0.04) markers on T-lymphocytes and an increased expression of CD14+/CD38+ (99.6 +/- 0.2, P < or = 0.008) markers on monocytes. Circulating neutrophils showed no evidence of activation. In addition, a significant elevation in the T-helper to T-suppressor ratio (2.9 +/- 0.6, P < or = 0.0001) between groups I and II was observed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Varicose Ulcer / blood*
  • Varicose Ulcer / microbiology
  • Varicose Ulcer / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines