The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence, distribution, and extent of varicosities and focal dilatations in the saphenous trunks, their association with the sites of reflux, and their correlation with CEAP classes.
This prospective study included patients belonging to different CEAP classes (2-6) and a control group of age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers (group C). Color-flow duplex scan imaging was used to evaluate the entire venous system from groin to ankle for reflux and obstruction. Varicose segments and focal dilatations of the great and small saphenous veins (GSV and SSV) were recorded, and the diameters throughout the length of the saphenous trunks were measured. The presence of varicosities in the tributaries and accessory veins were documented.
From the 739 consecutive patients, 239 were excluded due to superficial venous thrombosis (SVT), deep venous thrombosis (DVT), both SVT and DVT, previous interventions, or C3-C6 presentation with no chronic venous disease (CVD). The included 500 patients (681 limbs) were divided into two groups based on CEAP class: group A (C2 + C3) and group B (C4-6). Group A had significantly more women than group B and a younger mean age (48 vs 56 years). Overall, GSV reflux (86%) was more prevalent than SSV reflux (17%), P < .0001. Saphenous trunk diameters, saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) and saphenopopliteal junction (SPJ) involvement were greater in group B, (P < .01). Group C had smaller saphenous diameters compared to group A in all locations (P < .05) but the malleoli. The prevalence of the saphenous varicose segments in both groups was small with the GSV in group B being the highest (4.3%) and the SSV in group A being the smallest (1.2%). Focal dilatations were significantly more prevalent than varicosities in the saphenous trunks (P < .0001). Varicosities of tributaries and accessory veins were more prevalent than those of saphenous trunks (P < .0001). The mean length of varicose segments in the saphenous trunks was short (3.8 cm, range, 2.1-6.4 for group A vs 4.1 cm, range, 2.3-8.3 for group B, P = .09).
A novel definition for varicosities in the saphenous trunks was established. Using this definition, it was determined that focal dilatations are far more common than varicosities. Because both of these entities are more prevalent in the accessory saphenous veins and tributaries, and CEAP class correlates positively with the extent of reflux and saphenous trunk diameter, studies on earlier interventions are warranted to prevent CVD progression.