Endovenous saphenous ablation corrects the hemodynamic abnormality in patients with CEAP clinical class 3-6 CVI due to superficial reflux

William A Marston, Lewis V Owens, Steven Davies, Robert R Mendes, Mark A Farber, Blair A Keagy
Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2006, 40 (2): 125-30
This investigation was designed to determine whether minimally invasive radiofrequency or laser ablation of the saphenous vein corrects the hemodynamic impact and clinical symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) in CEAP clinical class 3-6 patients with superficial venous reflux. Patients with CEAP clinical class 3-6 CVI were evaluated with duplex ultrasound and air plethysmography (APG) to determine anatomic and hemodynamic venous abnormalities. Patients with an abnormal (>2 mL/second) venous filling index (VFI) and superficial venous reflux were included in this study. Saphenous ablation was performed utilizing radiofrequency (RF) or endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). Patients were reexamined within 3 months of ablation with duplex to determine anatomic success of the procedure, and with repeat APG to determine the degree of hemodynamic improvement. Venous clinical severity scores (VCSS) were determined before and after saphenous ablation. Eighty-nine limbs in 80 patients were treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) (n = 58), or EVLT (n = 31). The average age of patients was 55 years and 66% were women. There were no significant differences in preoperative characteristics between the groups treated with RFA or EVLT. Postoperatively, 86% of limbs demonstrated near total closure of the saphenous vein to within 5 cm of the saphenofemoral junction. Eight percent remained open for 5-10 cm from the junction, and 6% demonstrated minimal or no saphenous ablation. The VFI improved significantly after ablation in both the RF and EVLT groups. Postablation, 78% of the 89 limbs were normal, with a VFI <2 mL/second, and 17% were moderately abnormal, between 2 and 4 mL/second. VCSS scores (11.5 +/-4.5 preablation) decreased significantly after ablation to 4.4 +/-2.3. Minimally invasive saphenous ablation, using either RFA or EVLT, corrects or significantly improved the hemodynamic abnormality and clinical symptoms associated with superficial venous reflux in more than 90% of cases. These techniques are useful for treatment of patients with more severe clinical classes of superficial CVI.

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