This is an interesting study looking at a 12 month follow-up for patients with postpartum varicose veins that were treated with either Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract) supplements or compression stockings.
A recent study, published elsewhere showed that 1% of women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. As such, this is a common problem.
This study, published by Belcaro G, Dugall M, Luzzi R, Ippolito E, Cesarone MR from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Irvine 3 Labs, CH-PE University, Pescara, Italy followed up postpartum women with varicose veins for a period of 12 months.
The study was published in the International Journal of Angiology, March volume 26(1): pages 12-19.
Study method as published in the article: The registry included two groups of women: (1) those who used elastic compression stockings, and (2) who used an oral venotonic agent (Pycnogenol, 100 mg/d). A total of 12 evaluation targets were established. Minor symptoms were scored in an analogue scale line. A visual analogue scale line evaluated the overall satisfaction relative to elastic compression or Pycnogenol.
There was a tendency for a decreased need for sclerotherapy, surgery, and conservative treatment in the Pycnogenol group.
The overall satisfaction was higher among Pycnogenol patients, and compliance was optimal.
These findings were still present at 12 months (the ones noted above).
The authors concluded that the "use of Pycnogenol improves signs/symptoms of postpartum varicose veins, venous function seems to return faster to prepartum, physiological pattern with its use".
Dr Karamanoukian's study: This is an excellent study and I will continue to recommend Pine Bark Extract to my patients with venous disease, especially in the postpartum period.
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