Editor's Choice - Five Year Results of Great Saphenous Vein Treatment: A Meta-analysis.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

The most frequently used treatment options for great saphenous vein incompetence are high ligation with stripping (HL+S), endovenous thermal ablation (EVTA), mainly consisting of endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) or radiofrequency ablation, and ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS). The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the long-term efficacy of these different treatment modalities.

METHODS

A systematic literature search was performed. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with follow-up ≥ 5 years were included. Pooled proportions of anatomical success, which was the primary outcome, rate of recurrent reflux at the saphenofemoral junction (SFJ), and mean difference in venous clinical severity score (VCSS) were compared using a z test or Student t test. Quality of life data were assessed and described.

RESULTS

Three RCTs and 10 follow-up studies of RCTs were included of which 12 were pooled in the meta-analysis. In total, 611 legs were treated with EVLA, 549 with HL+S, 121 with UGFS, and 114 with HL+EVLA. UGFS had significantly lower pooled anatomical success rates than HL+S, EVLA, and EVLA with high ligation: 34% (95% CI 26-44) versus 83% (95% CI 72-90), 88% (95% CI 82-92), and 88% (95% CI 17-100) respectively; p ≤ .001. The pooled recurrent reflux rate at the SFJ was significantly lower for HL+S than UGFS (12%, 95% CI 7-20, vs. 29%, 95% CI 21-38; p ≤ .001) and EVLA (12%, 95% CI 7-20, vs. 22%, 95% CI 14-32; p = .038). VCSS scores were pooled for EVLA and HL+S, which showed similar improvements.

CONCLUSION

EVLA and HL+S show higher success rates than UGFS 5 years after GSV treatment. Recurrent reflux rates at the SFJ were significantly lower in HL+S than UGFS and EVLA. VCSS scores were similar between EVLA and HL+S.

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