Objective: To compare, in a 4-week clinical trial, the efficacy of class 1 Elastic Compression Stockings (pressure at the ankle 10 to 15 mmHg) to that of Placebo Stockings (pressure at the ankle 3 to 6 mmHg) in women consulting in general practice for mild, symptomatic, chronic venous insufficiency of the lower limbs.
Patients and methods: This was a 4-week multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted on two parallel groups of patients presenting with mild chronic venous insufficiency grade C(1-3S) E(p) A(S1-5) according to the CEAP classification. Treatment efficacy was assessed by the following criteria: global impairment as assessed at each visit on a visual analogue scale (primary efficacy parameter), Quality of Life measured by the CIVIQ questionnaire, symptoms index (sum of individual scores for pain, limb heaviness, paresthesias, cramps and evening limb oedema), limb volume measured by volumetry, and the evolution of global impairment during the course of the trial as assessed by repeated auto-evaluations on visual analogue scales. Compliance was assessed by the number of days patients wore the stockings for at least ten hours per day. Treatment tolerability was assessed by the record of the possible adverse events.
Results: Three hundred and forty one patients were included in total. Statistically significant differences were observed on global score of quality of life in favour of class 1 Elastic Compression Stockings group. In the subgroup of patients with evening limb oedema at inclusion, the decrease of limb volume noted with class 1 Elastic Compression Stockings was all the more marked that evening limb oedema was more pronounced at baseline. A good compliance was observed in 76% to 80% of patients according to the treatment group. Tolerability of class 1 Elastic Compression Stockings was comparable to that of the Placebo Stockings.
Conclusions: After four weeks of treatment, compression with class 1 Elastic Compression Stockings allows a statistically significant improvement of Quality of Life and a decreasing of limb oedema in patients presenting with mild chronic venous insufficiency of the lower limbs. Moreover, the tolerability of class 1 Elastic Compression Stockings was confirmed by the high level of patient compliance.