Nylander, Göran
November 1969
Angiology;Nov1969, Vol. 20 Issue 10, p592
Academic Journal
Several theories have been proposed to explain the cause of varices. e.g., constitutional, possibly hereditary weakness of the veins and their valves, degenerative changes of the connective tissue of the veins, endocrine influence on venous tone, increased venous pressure and prolonged standing. The actual cause of the disorder, however, still baffles research. By definition a varix is a "dilated, elongated and tortuous vein.'" An approach to the etiology of varices may include a study of these three morphologic criteria of the disease. This paper concerns the tortuosity of varicose veins, especially their peculiar serpentine course. The investigation was prompted by Leopold and Wolman's article entitled, ''River meanders," in which meanders of a river are described as being formed by erosion and sedimentation of material from the river banks and a consequent reshaping of the river to a regular serpentine pattern. The underlying mechanism of this modification of the course of a river has been cleared up by Leopold and Langbein, According to observations of Leopold and Langbein, a river meander is the form in which a river bends with a minimal loss of energy. They stated, "The most probable geometry for a river is one in which the angular direction of the channel at any point with respect to the mean downvalley direction is a sine function of the distance measured along the channel."


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