Sclerotherapy for Reticular Veins in the Lower Limbs: A Triple-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial

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Abstract

Importance

Reticular veins are subdermal veins located in the lower limbs and are mainly associated with aesthetic complaints. Although sclerotherapy is the treatment of choice for reticular veins in the lower limbs, no consensus has been reached regarding to the optimal sclerosant.

Objective

To compare the efficacy and safety of 2 sclerosants used to treat reticular veins: 0.2% polidocanol diluted in 70% hypertonic glucose (HG) (group 1) vs 75% HG alone (group 2).

Design, Setting, and Participants

Prospective, randomized, triple-blind, controlled, parallel-group clinical trial with patients randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio between the 2 treatment groups from March through December 2014, with 2 months’ follow-up. The study was conducted in a single academic medical center. Eligible participants were all women, aged 18 to 69 years, who had at least 1 reticular vein with a minimum length of 10 cm in 1 of their lower limbs.

Interventions

The patients underwent sclerotherapy in a single intervention with either 0.2% polidocanol plus 70% HG or 75% HG alone to eliminate reticular veins.

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary efficacy end point was the disappearance of the reticular veins within 60 days after treatment with sclerotherapy. The reticular veins were measured on images obtained before treatment and after treatment using ImageJ software. Safety outcomes were analyzed immediately after treatment and 7 days and 60 days after treatment and included serious adverse events (eg, deep vein thrombosis and systemic complications) and minor adverse events (eg, pigmentation, edema, telangiectatic matting, and hematomas).

Results

Ninety-three women completed the study, median (interquartile range) age 43.0 (24.0-61.0) years for group 1 and 41.0 (27.0-62.0) years for group 2. Sclerotherapy with 0.2% polidocanol plus 70% HG was significantly more effective than with 75% HG alone in eliminating reticular veins from the treated area (95.17% vs 85.40%; P < .001). No serious adverse events occurred in either group. Pigmentation was the most common minor adverse event, with a 3.53% treated-vein pigmentation length for group 1 and 7.09% for group 2, with no significant difference between the groups (P = .09).

Conclusions and Relevance

Sclerotherapy with 0.2% polidocanol diluted in 70% HG was superior to 75% HG alone in sclerosing reticular veins, with no statistical difference for complications. Pigmentation occurred in both groups, with no statistical difference between them. No serious adverse events occurred in either group.

Trial Registration

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02054325

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