Great saphenous vein radiofrequency ablation versus standard stripping in the management of primary varicose veins-a randomized clinical trial

Angiology. 2011 Jan;62(1):49-54. doi: 10.1177/0003319710380680. Epub 2010 Aug 18.


Introduction: Chronic venous insufficiency is the most common vascular disease in the adult population. However, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) comparing therapeutic options are limited.

Patients and methods: A total of 180 patients with saphenofemoral junction and great saphenous reflux detected on duplex were randomized to either ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or standard surgical treatment. The study participants blindly chose an assignment card that placed them in either group A (ultrasound-guided RFA of the great saphenous vein [GSV]; n = 90); or group B (surgical management n = 90). Patients were followed up for 24 months.

Results: The primary occlusion rate in group A was 94.5% versus 100% in group B. Radiofrequency ablation had a lower overall complication rate (P = .02) and shorter post-intervention hospital stay (P = .001). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed no significant differences in recurrence rates at 24 months follow-up (P = .45). Radiofrequency ablation was significantly more expensive (P = .003).

Conclusion: Great saphenous vein occlusion was achieved efficiently in 94% of our group using RFA with minimal complications and obvious advantages as compared to standard surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Saphenous Vein / surgery*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Varicose Veins / surgery*