Eight-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial comparing ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy with surgical stripping of the great saphenous vein

Y. L. Lam*, J. A. Lawson, I. M. Toonder, N. H. Shadid, A. Sommer, M. Veenstra, A. M. J. van der Kleij, R. P. Ceulen, E. de Haan, F. Ibrahim, T. van Dooren, F. H. Nieman, C. H. A. Wittens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: This was an 8-year follow-up of an RCT comparing ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) with high ligation and surgical stripping (HL/S) of the great saphenous vein (GSV). Methods: Patients were randomized to UGFS or HL/S of the GSV. The primary outcome was the recurrence of symptomatic GSV reflux. Secondary outcomes were patterns of reflux according to recurrent varices after surgery, Clinical Etiologic Anatomic Pathophysiologic (CEAP) classification, Venous Clinical Severity Score (VCSS) and EuroQol Five Dimensions (EQ-5D) quality-of-life scores. Results: Of 430 patients originally randomized (230 UGFS, 200 HL/S), 227 (528 per cent; 123 UGFS, 103 HL/S) were available for analysis after 8 years. The proportion of patients free from symptomatic GSV reflux at 8 years was lower after UGFS than HL/S (551 versus 721 per cent; P = 0024). The rate of absence of GSV reflux, irrespective of venous symptoms, at 8 years was 331 and 497 per cent respectively (P = 0009). More saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) failure (658 versus 417 per cent; P = 0001) and recurrent reflux in the above-knee GSV (725 versus 204 per cent; P = 0001) was evident in the UGFS group. The VCSS was worse than preoperative scores in both groups after 8 years; CEAP classification and EQ-5D (R) scores were similar in the two groups. Conclusion: Surgical stripping had a technically better outcome in terms of recurrence of GSV and SFJ reflux than UGFS in the long term. Long-term follow-up suggests significant clinical progression of venous disease measured by VCSS in both groups, but less after surgery. Registration number: NCT02304146 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-698
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • 5-YEAR

Cite this