Morphological studies on the effect of compression on the leg veins are rare and mostly performed in the supine position. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of compression applied with different pressures on the venous calibre in the standing position. Standing magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure the venous diameters of superficial and deep leg veins in a patient with massive varicose veins without and with different levels of compression and realistic 3D vectorial models were built. In the standing position compression stockings with a pressure of 22 mmHg were able to reduce the calibre of deep calf veins, but not of superficial varices. These were compressed only by bandages exerting pressures between 51 and 83 mmHg. Compression stockings may reduce the diameter of deep calf veins in the standing position. To empty a varicose vein after venous ablation much higher pressures are required.
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