Duplex ultrasound scan findings two years after great saphenous vein radiofrequency endovenous obliteration.J Vasc Surg. 2004 Jan; 39(1):189-95.JV
To assess the clinical and duplex ultrasound scan findings in the groin and thigh 2 years after great saphenous vein (GSV) radiofrequency endovenous obliteration (RFO).
Sixty-three limbs in 56 patients with symptomatic varicose veins and GSV incompetence were treated with RFO, usually with adjunctive stab-avulsion phlebectomies, and examined at a median follow-up of 25 months, by using a color-coded, duplex sonography protocol that mandated views in at least two planes of the saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) and its tributaries and at three GSV levels in the thigh.
The commonest duplex finding in the groin was an open, competent, SFJ with a < or =5-cm patent terminal GSV segment conducting prograde tributary flow through the SFJ (82%). Despite the presence of a total of 104 patent junctional tributaries, SFJ reflux was uncommon, affecting only five limbs. GSV truncal occlusion was observed in 90% of treated GSVs. Limited segmental treatment was successful in three limbs with a midthigh reflux source well below competent terminal and subterminal valves. Six GSV trunks had partial or no occlusion, but only one refluxed. These were anatomical RFO failures (9.5%) but were clinically improved, including the refluxing limb. Neovascularity was not identified in any groin. Thigh varicosities were observed in 12 limbs, including telangiectasias and isolated small tributary branches. New varicosities, linked to refluxing thigh perforators (two), or patent SFJ tributaries (three), were present in five limbs.
RFO is the ideological opposite of high ligation without GSV stripping. It leaves physiologic tributary flow relatively undisturbed, does not incite groin neovascularity, eliminates the GSV as a refluxing conduit in >90% of limbs and has a 2-year, postadjunctive phlebectomy varicosity prevalence of 7.9%, with symptom score improvement in 95% of limbs with an initial score higher than zero.