Factors that influence perforator vein closure rates using radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation, or foam sclerotherapy.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Perforator vein closure for the treatment of advanced chronic venous insufficiency has been shown to be effective using radiofrequency ablation (RFA), endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), or ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS). The objective of the study was to compare these three modalities and attempt to identify factors that might predict treatment failure. METHODS: A retrospective review of a prospectively managed database of perforator vein treatments performed at a three centers within a single institution from February 2013 to July 2014. The modality for perforator closure was left to the discretion of the treating physician. A Duplex scan was performed at 2 weeks after the procedure. Standard statistical methods were used to compare subgroup characteristics. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using SAS v9.3. RESULTS: We performed 296 perforator ablations on 112 patients. Superficial venous reflux was appropriately treated before perforator ablation. Of the 296 procedures, 62 (21%) underwent EVLA, 93 (31%) RFA, and 141 (48%) UGFS. The indications for intervention in most patients were C5 and C6 disease (67%). At 2 weeks, closure rates were significantly lower for UGFS (57%) compared with RFA (73%; P = .05) but failed to reach significance compared with EVLA (61%; P = .09). When patients were first treated with UGFS and closure failed, thermal ablation was then successful in 85% (P = .03) of EVLA and 89% (P = .003) of RFAs as a secondary procedure, compared with initial closure rates. Systemic anticoagulation, perforator size, and presence of deep vein reflux did not affect closure rates for any modality. Factors that were predictive of failure were body mass index >50 with closure rates of only 37% for all modalities. There were five postprocedure deep venous thromboses found (5%). One patient had an isolated gastrocnemius thrombus after undergoing UGFS and the other four had focal tibial vein thrombosis without extension into the popliteal vein. CONCLUSIONS: In this study we compared EVLA, RFA, and UGFS for the treatment of incompetent perforating veins. RFA was found to be the most reliable means of perforator closure and was significantly better than UGFS. Morbid obesity (body mass index >50) predicted failure of perforator closure in all groups. Failure of UGFS as an initial treatment led to increased perforator closure when thermal ablation was used as a secondary technique.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hager, ES; Washington, C; Steinmetz, A; Wu, T; Singh, M; Dillavou, E

Published Date

  • January 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 51 - 56

PubMed ID

  • 26946896

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26946896

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2213-3348

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jvsv.2015.08.004


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States