To investigate the effects of wearing compression stockings on cardiovascular responses, the heart rate (HR), cardiac output (Q) measured by CO2 rebreathing method, and oxygen intake were measured at rest in a supine position for 40 min and standing position for 120 min. Six female subjects wore the compression stockings after 20 min of rest at supine position. The oxygen intake and ventilation showed no significant difference between with and without the stockings. Q at standing position was lower than that at supine position by an act of hydrostatic pressure. However this decrease was lower with stockings than that without stockings. The compression stockings used in this study might improve the venous return to the heart. However, the subjects complained of discomfort due to the high clothing pressure. In the second experiment, the authors estimated the minimum pressure required in improving the venous return. The subjects wore the trousers having two bladders inflated by air pressure. The trousers could compress the leg (contain the foot) and thigh individually. From the relationship between air pressure and Q, the estimated minimum pressures were 17 mmHg for the leg and 15 mmHg for the thigh.
Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology