Utility of Adjunctive Digital Subtraction Venography for the Treatment of Saphenous Vein Insufficiency

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Purpose: To report the use of adjunctive venography for the treatment of superficial venous reflux. Methods: Two hundred consecutive patients (mean age 60.9 years, range 33–86; 128 women) with chronic venous disease underwent saphenous or perforator vein ablation in 268 limbs (305 venous trunks) guided by adjunctive venography and fluoroscopy in addition to ultrasound between October 2010 and May 2016. Intraprocedural venograms were independently evaluated by 2 vascular specialists to identify the presence of venous anomalies and the need for fluoroscopy-guided maneuvers to successfully complete venous ablation. Intraprocedural venography results were compared with preoperative venous duplex scan reports to ascertain if the duplex study could be of value in identifying preoperatively any anatomical variants that may pose a technical challenge to the operator. Results: In this cohort, 542 venograms (2.0/limb) were performed with a mean duration of 4.9±9.1 minutes (range 1–48). Two thirds of patients (132, 66%) had anomalies or abnormalities within the target vein; more than a third (88, 44%) required an endovascular maneuver to successfully complete the ablation and 17% (34) of cases were impossible to complete without adjunctive fluoroscopic guidance. Per-patient comparison of intraprocedural venography with preoperative venous duplex reports identified 21 (11%) patients with abnormalities detected on ultrasound (23 anomalies) compared with 123 (64%) on venography (193 anomalies). This gave ultrasound a 17.1% sensitivity, 100% specificity and positive predictive value, and 40.7% negative predictive value. Conclusion: Venography is a valuable addition to ultrasound to facilitate complete ablation of insufficient saphenous veins in selected patients with complex anatomy.

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