Sclerosants: a comparative review

Dermatol Surg. 2010 Jun;36 Suppl 2:1010-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01469.x.


Background: Sclerotherapy is popular for the treatment of lower extremity telangiectasias and varicose and reticular veins. Although a large number of sclerosants are commonly employed, there are few data that directly compare their advantages and drawbacks.

Objectives: To analyze and present the differences between sclerosants that make them more or less suitable agents in specific clinical applications.

Materials and methods: A systemic review of published medical literature that compares and contrasts different classes of sclerosants is presented.

Results: There is no perfect sclerosant that is complication free and 100% effective. The ability to match the sclerosant to the clinical problem being approached makes the availability of more Food and Drug Administration-approved sclerosants appealing.

Conclusion: Modern sclerosants that have been subjected to rigorous experimental and clinical trials will provide even more efficacious and safer patient treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Detergents / administration & dosage
  • Detergents / adverse effects
  • Detergents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Approval
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Storage
  • Humans
  • Microbubbles
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Sclerosing Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Sclerosing Solutions / adverse effects
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate / adverse effects
  • Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate / therapeutic use*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Varicose Veins / therapy*


  • Detergents
  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate