gms | German Medical Science

27. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Hochdruckliga

Deutsche Liga zur Bekämpfung des hohen Blutdrucks – Deutsche Hypertonie Gesellschaft e. V.

26. bis 29.11.2003, Bonn

Heritability of Venous Function in Humans

Erblichkeit der venösen Funktion beim Menschen

Meeting Abstract (Hypertonie 2003)

  • presenting/speaker J. Jordan
  • M. Brinsuk
  • J. Tank
  • F.C. Luft
  • A. Busjahn

Hypertonie 2003. 27. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Hochdruckliga. Bonn, 26.-29.11.2003. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc03hochV8

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: November 11, 2004

© 2004 Jordan et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Venous function contributes to the pathogenesis of thrombophlebitis, venous thrombosis, and possibly to arterial hypertension. Venous disease is highly heritable; however, the genetic variance of venous function is unknown. We, determined the heritability of venous function in 46 twin pairs (24 monozygotic, age 35±11 yrs, 14 men, 34 women, and 22 dizygotic, age 30±8 yrs, 19 men, 25 women). After a resting phase in the supine position, we determined venous function in both legs by impedance plethysmography. Venous capacity was determined by a standardized protocol. In addition, we obtained venous pressure volume curves by slowly deflating a thigh cuff from 60 to 0 mmHg. Venous compliance was determined as the steepest part of the venous pressure volume curve. The "break-point" of the pressure volume relationship was determined manually. Venous capacity was 6±2.2 ml/100ml in monozygotic twins and 5.1±2.3 ml/100 ml in dizygotic twins. Venous compliance was 0.24±0.14 %/mmHg in monozygotic twins and 0.18±0.12 %/ mmHg in dizygotic twins. The breakpoint of the venous pressure volume curve was at a cuff pressure of 23±7.5 mm Hg in monozygotic twins and at a pressure of 26±8.9 mmHg in dizygotic twins. Heritability (h) was estimated using a path modeling approach. Unadjusted heritability (h2) was 0.6 (p<0.05) for venous capacity, 0.9 (p<0.05) for venous compliance, and 0.31 (ns) for the break point of the pressure volume curve. The heritability estimates remained essentially unchanged after adjustment for gender and age. We conclude that venous function is strongly influenced by genetic factors. The genes involved may influence venous disease states.