A Clinical Comparison of Pycnogenol, Antistax, and Stocking in Chronic Venous Insufficiency

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This 8-week registry study was a comparative evaluation of Pycnogenol (French Maritime Pine Bark extract; Horphag Research, Geneva) and Antistax (grape leaf extract [GLE, Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany]) in controlling symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). “Standard management” for CVI is compression; a group of comparable subjects was monitored to evaluate the effects of stockings. The registry included 183 patients (166 completing). Supplementation with Antistax (two tablets of 360 mg/d) or Pycnogenol (100 mg/d) was used. The groups were comparable for age, symptoms, venous incompetence, and microcirculation (with increased capillary filtration and skin flux) at inclusion. At 8 weeks, the rate of swelling (p < 0.05) and skin flux decreased toward normal values; changes were more important with Pycnogenol (p < 0.05). Transcutaneous PO2 was increased more with Pycnogenol (p < 0.05). Ankle circumference was decreased more (p < 0.05) with Pycnogenol. An analog scale quantified symptoms. At 8 weeks, pain and edema were decreased with Pycnogenol and elastic compression (p < 0.05) with prevalence for Pycnogenol (p < 0.05). Edema with Pycnogenol was decreased by 40%. Induration was reduced only in the Pycnogenol group (p < 0.05) with minimal variations in the other groups. Tolerability and compliance were optimal. Elastic compression was correctly used by 80% of the patients indicating that it may be more difficult to use, particularly in warmer days. Costs for Pycnogenol were lower (96; 3.3 Euros) in comparison with the other groups (132;1.4 Euros for GLE and 149; 2.2 Euros for compression).

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