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Glossary of blood circulation

  • ARTERY: Blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the organs.
  • VEIN: Blood vessel that carries blood from the peripheral parts of the body back to the heart. Equipped with one-way valves to prevent blood reflux.
  • DEEP VEIN:A vein placed between the muscles, generally in parallel with the arteries.
  • SUPERFICIAL VEIN: A vein located in subcutaneous adipose tissue.
  • VARICOSE VEIN:Permanent dilatation of a vein with regressive alteration of its walls.  Blood in varicose veins, as in all superficial veins, returns to the heart during movement (in the lower limbs when walking, running, jumping, etc.), but has a more difficult time doing so.
  • TRUNCAL VARICOSE VEIN:Related to the trunk that the vein it belongs to comes from.
  • VARICECTOMY:Surgical removal of a varicose vein.
  • EMBOLUS:A blood clot free to circulate in the bloodstream.
  • THROMBUS:A blood clot that adheres to the vessel wall.
  • TROPHIC DISORDERS:Skin suffering that can lead to ulceration.
  • ACROCYANOSIS:Cyanosis or bluish coloration of the skin, persistent, painless and symmetrical on the hands, feet or face, generally caused by cold.
  • ANGIODYSPLASIAS: Congenital vascular malformation.
  • SCLEROTHERAPY: Sclerotherapy is a technique that entails closing a section of ectatic, varicose veins or telangiectasias by injection, into the vessels, of a solution that causes a topic inflammatory reaction (chemical phlebitis).  This reaction in turn causes thrombosis and subsequent reabsorption of the varicose vein or telangiectasia sections.
  • ONE-WAY VALVES (VEIN VALVES): Valves incorporated in the wall of the venous system that aid blood flow towards the heart (located where there is the greatest functional need, where blood flux is the most difficult).  They permit blood to return back to the heart and prevent blood from flowing back down (venous reflux).  They are activated by the muscles responsible for lower limb movements and together with muscles act to “pump” venous blood in the direction of the heart.
  • CAPILLARY VESSELS:These are the smallest vessels in our organism.  They are located between the final section of an artery and the beginning of a vein.  The dense network of spider veins present in the body generates microcirculation.  They permit oxygen and nutrients to permeate into the cells.