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M. Minkov, G. Marinov, M. Kanellaki-Kyparissi, R. Guidoin, K. Koliakou, V. Knyazhev, D. Kovachev


The authors studied venous valve cusps from surgically removed great saphenous vein with essential lower limb varicosis from 20 patients without data about previous thrombophlebitis. Venous valves without varicose alterations were used as controls. The histological, immunohistochemical, ТЕМ and SEM techniques were applied. In morphologically complete valve cusps from non-varicose great saphenous vein, a small marginal thickening was observed by routine histology. The cells visualised in these thickenings showed positive reaction against anti-vimentin but negative reaction against anti—smooth muscle actin antibody. In varicose vein valve cusps a marginal thickening with considerably larger diameter was histologically observed. In the fibrin-like material which was disposed around these thickenings, proliferation of fibroblasts as well as collagen fibres' depositions were seen. The SEM study showed partial "rollings" of the free cusp border. In the marginal thickening, the cells showed negative reaction not only to anti—smooth muscle actin but they also lost the reaction to anti-vimentin monoclonal antibody. The process mentioned above advanced, it occupied a new part at the valve cusp and so the cusp shortened. According to our hypothesis, this was one of the ways of initiating and advancing incompetence in primary varicosis.


Venous valve insufficiency; valve cusp marginal thickening; vimentin; alpha-smooth muscle actin

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M. Minkov

G. Marinov

M. Kanellaki-Kyparissi

R. Guidoin

K. Koliakou

V. Knyazhev

D. Kovachev

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