An investigation of side-effects and efficacy of foam-based sclerotherapy with carbon dioxide or room air in the treatment of reticular leg veins: a pilot study

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Abstract

Objectives

In sclerotherapy, carbon dioxide (CO2) or room air can be employed by phlebologists for foam creation. We compared room air (RA) and carbon dioxide in treating reticular leg veins with foam sclerotherapy.

Methods

Twenty patients were randomly treated with RA- or CO2-created sodium tetradecyl sulphate (STS) foam. Concentration and volume of STS, side-effects and efficacy were determined.

Results

There was no difference in the efficacy, local side-effects or distant side-effects between RA and CO2 foam in the treatment of reticular leg veins. The total volume of foam sclerosant required for treatment was greater with CO2 compared with RA (P value = 0.01).

Conclusion

No differences were found in efficacy or side-effects between RA- and CO2-foam sclerotherapy for reticular leg veins. CO2 foam's shorter half-life was hypothesized to be responsible for larger total volumes of CO2 foam sclerosant.

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