What are varicose veins, anyway?
Dr. Salama: Varicose veins are dilated, often tortuous veins that occur mainly on the legs. If not properly treated, they can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that causes the legs to swell and that leads to other complications. The high incidence of venous ulcers and open feet shows that varicose veins are not only associated with the deep venous system, but also with the superficial system.
What is the importance of classification in understanding venous disease?
Dr. Salama: Before the introduction of the CEAP classification, there was a lack of precision in the diagnosis of chronic venous disease. This problem led to reporting errors in studies of the treatment of venous problems. The CEAP classification was then introduced worldwide, providing a universally understood description. It became a tool that standardized diagnosis and allowed better communication about the diagnosis of chronic venous disease among health professionals. Accurate classification of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency is critical for proper treatment and management of the condition.
What does the acronym CEAP stand for?
Dr. Salama: The English acronym CEAP stands for the four areas of 'clinical findings,' 'etiology/cause of disease,' 'anatomy/localization,' and 'pathophysiology/type of pathological change.' This system provides a structured method to evaluate and classify venous disease. In the clinical classification, each letter represents a specific stage of disease: C0: no visible or palpable signs, C1: spider veins or reticular veins, C2: varicose veins, C3: edema, C4a: pigmentation or eczema, C4b: lipodermatosclerosis or atrophie blanche, C5: healed venous ulcer, and C6: active venous ulcer. The etiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology categories help professionals determine the cause, location, and dysfunction of venous disease, which is, of course, quite critical for diagnosis and treatment.