Objectives: To compare the long-term results of stripping vs. haemodynamic correction (Ambulatory Conservative Haemodynamic Management of Varicose Veins, CHIVA) in the treatment of superficial venous incompetence resulting in chronic venous disease (CVD).
Design: Randomised comparative trial.
Patients: 150 patients affected by CVD, CEAP clinical class 2-6, were randomised to saphenous stripping or to CHIVA.
Methods: The clinical outcome was assessed by an independent observer who recorded the Hobbs clinical score for treated limbs. A subjective report of the outcome was provided by the patients. Recurrence of varices was assessed by both clinical examination and duplex ultrasonography.
Results: The mean follow-up was 10 years, 26 patients were lost to follow-up. The Hobbs score similar in the stripping and CHIVA groups. However recurrence of varicose veins was significantly higher in the stripping group (CHIVA 18%; stripping 35%, P<0.04 Fisher's exact test), without significant differences in the rate of recurrences from the sapheno-femoral junction. The associated risk of recurrence at ten years was doubled in the stripping group (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1-5, P=0.04).
Conclusions: Recurrent varices occurred more frequently following saphenous stripping than after CHIVA treatment. The deliberate preservation of the saphenous trunk as a route of venous drainage in the CHIVA group may have been a factor reducing the recurrence rate.