Prospective randomized efficacy of ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy compared with ultrasound-guided liquid sclerotherapy in the treatment of symptomatic venous malformations

J Vasc Surg. 2008 Mar;47(3):578-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2007.11.026.


Objective: To compare the clinical outcome between ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) and ultrasound-guided liquid form sclerotherapy (UGLS) in patients with venous malformations (VM).

Methods: Eighty-nine patients with symptomatic VM were treated with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. There were 22 males and 67 females with mean age of 14.5 years. The sclerosing agents used were 1% polidocanol (POL) or 10% ethanolamine oleate (EO). POL was injected predominantly into smaller, superficial lesions, whereas EO was used for large, deeper lesions. Foam sclerosing solution was provided using Tessari's method. Patients were randomized to receive either UGFS or UGLS. Post-sclerotherapy surveillance was done at 6 months after last session using duplex ultrasound. Findings obtained by duplex scanning were divided into four groups: (1) disappeared group: the venous space was occluded and was totally shrunk; (2) partially recanalized group: the venous space was partially recanalized and was partially shrunk; (3) totally recanalized group: the venous space was totally recanalized and returned at the same size; and (4) worsened group: the venous space was totally recanalized and became worse.

Results: Forty-nine patients were treated with UGFS and the remaining 40 were treated with UGLS. There were no significant differences in age and men:women ratio. There was no significant difference in the anatomic distribution of VMs between the two groups. The amount of POL was significantly smaller in patients who were treated with UGFS (P = .022). Similarly, there was a significant reduction in the use of EO in patients treated with UGFS (P = .005). The proportion of VM with total disappearance and partial recanalization was significantly higher in patients treated with UGFS (P = .002). No major complications related to sclerotherapy were encountered in both groups.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that UGFS could have greater promise compared with UGLS in the treatment of VMs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oleic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Sclerotherapy / adverse effects
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*
  • Vascular Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Malformations / therapy*
  • Veins / abnormalities
  • Veins / diagnostic imaging*


  • Oleic Acids
  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • ethanolamine oleate