Correlation between great saphenous length of treatment zone and diameter with improvement in symptoms after ablation

Published:March 08, 2021DOI:



      The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between the great saphenous vein (GSV) length of segment ablated and diameter with symptom improvement.


      Data from a multicenter, randomized, controlled prospective study of 242 patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or cyanoacrylate closure (CAC) of the GSV were analyzed. The venous clinical severity score (VCSS) was measured at baseline and at 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months after ablation. The GSV diameter was evaluated for a correlation with VCSS at each time point. Using the median treatment length of 34 cm, the patients were divided into group I (treatment length ≥34 cm) vs group II (<34 cm) for analysis. The pretreatment VCSS and VCSS improvement (ΔVCSS) after treatment were evaluated with respect to the length of the ablated GSV segment. The postablation VCSS was compared between the pretreatment GSV diameters of <5.5 mm vs ≥5.5 mm.


      The mean GSV length ablated by RFA was 35.3 ± 14 cm vs 32.6 ± 11 cm with CAC (P = NS). No significant difference was found in the VCSS (at baseline or follow-up) between RFA and CAC. The pooled data for all participants (n = 242) demonstrated a correlation between the treated GSV length and pretreatment VCSS and the ΔVCSS at 36 months (R = 0.23; P < .001). Greater VCSS improvement was seen in group I (≥34 cm ablated) than in group II (<34 cm ablated) at ≤36 months of follow-up (P = .003). At baseline, group I had had higher VCSSs (6.21 ± 2.75 vs 4.88 ± 2.33; P < .00001) and CEAP (clinical, etiologic, anatomic, pathophysiologic) and reflux scores. Of the 242 patients, 101 had had a GSV diameter <5.5 mm and 141 had had a GSV diameter of ≥5.5 mm. No significant differences were noted in the VCSSs, either at baseline or at follow-up, between the two groups. Within the study population, a poor correlation was found between the GSV diameter and baseline VCSS (R = −0.004; P = .95) and between the GSV diameter and ΔVCSS for ≤36 months (R = 0.04; P = .55).


      Longer segments of GSV reflux appeared to correlate with symptom severity. We found a small to moderate correlation between the length of GSV segment ablated and symptom improvement. This might reflect the greater severity of symptoms at baseline in patients with longer segments with reflux. We found a poor correlation between the proximal GSV diameter and symptom improvement after ablation.

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