Incidence and Significance of Deep Venous Reflux in Patients Treated with Saphenous Vein Ablation

Satam, K.; Aurshina, A.; Zhuo, H.; Zhang, Y.; Cardella, J.; Aboian, E.; Tonnessen, B.; Guzman, R.J.; Ochoa Chaar, C.I.

Annals of Vascular Surgery 91: 182-190


ISSN/ISBN: 1615-5947
PMID: 36693564
Accession: 089897404

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Venous ablation (VA) of the saphenous vein is the most common procedure performed for venous insufficiency. The incidence of concomitant deep venous reflux (DVR) in patients undergoing VA is unknown. Our hypothesis is that patients undergoing saphenous VA with concomitant DVR exhibit a higher clinical, etiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology (CEAP) stage and less relief after VA compared to patients without DVR. Electronic medical records of patients treated with saphenous VA at a tertiary care center from March 2012 to June 2016 were reviewed. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on presence or absence of DVR on initial ultrasound (US) before saphenous VA. Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared. A telephone survey was conducted to assess long-term symptomatic relief, compliance with compression, and pain medication use. Subgroup analysis of patients with post-thrombotic versus primary DVR was performed. 362 patients underwent 497 ablations, and the incidence of DVR (>1 sec) was 20% (N = 71). Patients with DVR were significantly more likely to be male (46.4% vs. 32.1%, P = 0.021) and of Black race (21.2% vs. 5.5%, P = 0.0001) compared to patients without DVR. Patients with DVR were more likely to have a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (15.1% vs. 7.9%, P = 0.045), but there was no difference in other comorbidities. There was no significant difference in presenting symptoms, CEAP stage, or symptom severity based on numeric rating scale (NRS) (0-10) for pain and swelling. Clinical success of saphenous VA was comparable between the 2 groups, but patients with DVR were more likely to develop endovenous heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT) II-IV (6% vs. 1%, P = 0.002). After a mean follow-up of 26 months, there was still no difference in pain or swelling scores, but patients with DVR were more likely to use compression stockings and used them more frequently. Only 11 of 71 patients with DVR had a history of DVT. Patients with post-thrombotic DVR were significantly older than patients with primary DVR (67.3 vs. 57.2, P = 0.038) and exhibited a trend toward more advanced venous disease (C4-C6: 45.4% vs. 33.3%, P = 0.439). In this study, 20% of patients undergoing saphenous VA demonstrated DVR, which was more common in Black men. Presence of DVR is associated with increased risk of EHIT after saphenous VA but does not seem to impact disease severity or clinical relief after ablation. Larger studies are needed to understand outcome differences between post-thrombotic and primary DVR.