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Best treatments for great saphenous vein reflux.


COPENHAGEN -- Superior 5-year outcomes for great saphenous vein reflux were achieved with conventional surgery and endovenous laser ablation as compared with ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy in a randomized trial, Dr. Simone van der Velden reported at the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The multicenter study included 224 randomized legs belonging to symptomatic patients with a target great saphenous vein diameter of at least 5 mm.

If deemed necessary, patients could undergo one re-treatment at 3 or 12 months after their initial procedure. At 5 years of follow-up, 86% of the treated legs were available for long-term evaluation, noted Dr. van der Velden of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The primary endpoint was obliteration or absence of the treated great saphenous vein segment. This was achieved with conventional surgery in 85% of treated cases, in 77% of legs treated with endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), and in 23% with ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS).

Absence of above-the-knee greater saphenous vein reflux--a secondary endpoint--was achieved in 85% of the conventional surgery group and in 82% of the EVLA group, both of which were significantly better results than the 41% response with UGFS.

Another secondary endpoint was grade II neovascularization. Here again, both conventional surgery and EVLA outperformed UGFS, with rates of 17%, 13%, and 4%, respectively. In contrast, there was no significant difference between the three treatment groups in terms of the presence of refluxing tributaries above or below knee level, she continued.

Scores on the disease-specific Chronic Venous Insufficiency quality of life Questionnaire (CIVIQ) deteriorated over time in the UGFS group, improved in the EVLA-treated patients, and remained stable in the conventional surgery group.

Conventional surgery was performed under general anesthesia and entailed high ligation of the saphenofemoral junction and phlebectomy of tributaries. In contrast, EVLA was done under local tumescent anesthesia using a 940-nm laser. The laser fiber was introduced at knee level, positioned 1-2 cm below the saphenofemoral junction, and delivered an energy of roughly 60 Joules/[cm.sup.2].

For UGFS, operators utilized a foam comprising 1 mL of sodium tetradecyl sulfate per 3 mL of air. A maximum of 10 mL of foam could be injected per treatment session, depending upon the diameter of the great saphenous vein and length of the refluxing trunk. Phlebectomies in this group were performed only in the event of patient complaints.

Of note, patients in the minimally invasive UGFS group required re-treatment three times more often than did those in the other two study arms.

Dr. van der Velden said she has heard from some UGFS partisans that she and her coinvestigators may have undertreated patients in that study arm because they didn't routinely perform phlebectomies of the tributaries, and the average amount of foam they injected, about 4.5 mL, was on the low side.

The study was sponsored by Erasmus University. Dr. van der Velden reported having no financial conflicts of interest.



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Author:Jancin, Bruce
Publication:Dermatology News
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Dec 1, 2015
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