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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2011 Jul;42(1):107-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2011.03.010. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Duplex ultrasound outcomes following ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy of symptomatic recurrent great saphenous varicose veins.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Birmingham University, Heart of England NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK.



To describe duplex ultrasound (DUS) outcomes 12 months following ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) of recurrent great saphenous varicose veins (GSVV).


A consecutive series of UK National Health Service patients underwent serial DUS examinations following UGFS with 3% sodium tetradecyl sulphate for symptomatic recurrent GSVV.


91 treated legs (CEAP C(2/3) 58, C(4) 21, C(5) 8, C(6) 4) belonging to 73 patients (24 male) of median age 58 (range 32-86) years were enrolled between November 2004 and May 2007. The median volume of foam used was 8 (range 4-14) ml. Above-knee (AK) and below-knee (BK) GSV reflux was present in 88 (97%) and 80 (88%) legs respectively prior to treatment. AK and BK-GSV reflux was completely eradicated by a single session of UGFS in 86 (98%) and 74 (93%) legs respectively; and by two sessions of UGFS in 88 (100%) and 77 (97%) legs respectively. In those legs where GSV reflux had been eradicated, recanalisation occurred in 7/78 (9%) AK and 8/68 (12%) BK-GSV segments after 12 months follow-up. Retreatment, where undertaken, with a single UGFS session effectively eradicated all GSV reflux in all cases of recanalisation.


A single session of UGFS can eradicate reflux in the AK and BK-GSV in over 93% of patients with symptomatic recurrent GSVV. Re-recurrence at 12 months is superior to that reported after redo GSV surgery, similar to that observed following other minimally-invasive techniques and, when it occurs, is effectively and simply treated by a single further session of UGFS.

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