Systematic review and meta-analysis of endovascular and surgical revascularization for patients with chronic lower extremity venous insufficiency and varicose veins.
BACKGROUND: Chronic lower extremity venous disease (LECVD) is twice as prevalent as coronary heart disease, and invasive therapies to treat LECVD accounted for an estimated $290 million in Medicare expenditures in 2015. Despite increasing use of these invasive therapies, their comparative effectiveness is unknown. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of treatments for patients (symptomatic and asymptomatic) with lower extremity varicosities and/or lower extremity chronic venous insufficiency/incompetence/reflux. We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for relevant English-language studies published from January 2000 to July 2016. We included comparative randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with >20 patients and observational studies with >500 patients. Short-, intermediate-, and long-term outcomes of placebo, mechanical compression therapy, and invasive therapies (surgical and endovascular) were included. Quality ratings and evidence grading was performed. Random-effects models were used to compute summary estimates of effects. RESULTS: We identified a total of 57 studies representing 105,878 enrolled patients, including 53 RCTs comprised of 10,034 patients. Among the RCTs, 16 were good quality, 28 were fair quality, and 9 were poor quality. Allocation concealment, double blinding, and reporting bias were inadequately addressed in 25 of 53 (47%), 46 of 53 (87%), and 15 of 53 (28.3%), respectively. Heterogeneity in therapies, populations, and/or outcomes prohibited meta-analysis of comparisons between different endovascular therapies and between endovascular intervention and placebo/compression. Meta-analysis evaluating venous stripping plus ligation (high ligation/stripping) compared with radiofrequency ablation revealed no difference in short-term bleeding (odds ratio [OR]=0.30, 95% CI -0.16 to 5.38, P=.43) or reflux recurrence at 1-2 years (OR=0.76, 95% CI 0.37-1.55, P=.44). Meta-analysis evaluating high ligation/stripping versus endovascular laser ablation revealed no difference in long-term symptom score (OR 0.02, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.23, P=.84) or quality of life at 2 years (OR 0.06, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.25, P=.50). CONCLUSIONS: The paucity of high-quality comparative effectiveness and safety data in LECVD is concerning given the overall rise in endovascular procedures. More high-quality studies are needed to determine comparative effectiveness and guide policy and practice.
Vemulapalli, S; Parikh, K; Coeytaux, R; Hasselblad, V; McBroom, A; Johnston, A; Raitz, G; Crowley, MJ; Lallinger, KR; Jones, WS; Sanders, GD
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