The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of Venostasin (horse chestnut seed extract) and Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). In an open, controlled comparative study 40 patients with diagnosed CVI were treated either with 600 mg chestnut seed extract per day or 360 mg Pycnogenol per day over a period of 4 weeks. The following parameters were investigated before the start of treatment and after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment: circumference of the lower legs and rating of subjective symptoms (scores) of pain, cramps, night-time swelling, feeling of "heaviness", and reddening of the skin. In addition, blood levels of cholesterol LDL and HDL were determined before and at the end of treatment. Pycnogenol significantly reduced the circumference of the lower limbs and significantly improved subjective symptoms. Furthermore, Pycnogenol significantly decreased cholesterol and LDL values in the blood, whereas HDL remained unaffected. Venostasin only moderately but not significantly, reduced the circumference of the lower limbs and marginally improved symptoms. Venostasin had no influence on the determined lipid values. Both medications were equally well tolerated. In conclusion, Pycnogenol was found to be more efficacious than Venostasin for the treatment of CVI.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.