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Extended Center for Vein Restoration study assessing comparative outcomes for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency in Medicare- and non–Medicare-eligible patients

      Abstract

      Background

      We previously reported that chronic venous insufficiency treatment of Medicare-eligible patients achieved outcomes similar to those for non–Medicare-eligible patients. The goal of the present investigation was to assess the long-term treatment outcomes and the effect of race in a larger patient cohort.

      Methods

      From January 2015 to December 2019, we retrospectively reviewed the data from 131,268 patients who had presented for a lower extremity venous evaluation. We divided the patients into two groups by age: group A was aged ≥65 years and group B, <65 years. The treatments analyzed in each group were axial thermal ablation (TA), axial Varithena ablation (VA), TA plus phlebectomy, VA plus phlebectomy, and TA or VA with phlebectomy and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS). The treatment outcomes were assessed using the revised venous clinical severity score (rVCSS) and Chronic Venous Insufficiency Quality of Life 20-item questionnaire (CIVIQ-20) scores at the initial consultation and 1, 6, and 12 months after completion of the treatment plan.

      Results

      Of the 131,268 patients, 40,020 were in group A and 91,248 in group B, with an average age of 74.4 ± 6.6 and 49.9 ± 10.6 years, respectively. Of the 40,020 patients in group A, 15,697 (n = 25,234 limbs) had undergone TA and 1910 (n = 3222 limbs) had undergone VA. Of the 91,248 patients in group B, 35,220 (n = 53,717 limbs) had undergone TA and 2178 (n = 3672 limbs) had undergone VA. For the TA subgroups, all rVCSSs had significantly improved after treatment at each evaluation point (P ≤ .001). For the TA and VA plus phlebectomy with or without UGFS subgroup, the older patients (group A) required 6 months to develop the same degree of improvement as the younger patients (group B) at 1 month. When subdivided by race, all initial and 6-month rVCSSs and CIVIQ-20 scores within a race had improved and were better in group B, except for Asian and Hispanic patients (P ≤ .001). After TA or VA plus phlebectomy, with or without UGFS, the CIVIQ-20 outcomes had improved by 1 month in both groups, although the rVCSS lagged by 6 months in group A. No differences in the rVCSSs or CIVIQ-20 scores were observed between the groups treated with TA or VA.

      Conclusions

      Medicare-eligible beneficiaries demonstrated improved outcomes similar to those of non–Medicare-eligible beneficiaries after ablation. When TA or VA plus phlebectomy with or without UGFS were examined, group A required 6 months to demonstrate rVCSSs equivalent to those of group B at 1 month. The CIVIQ-20 scores had improved by 1 month in both groups, regardless of the treatment modality. The difference in rVCSSs appeared to be driven by African American and white patients because Hispanic and Asian patients demonstrated equivalent results regardless of age. Patients treated with TA or VA demonstrated equivalent results.

      Keywords

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