Objectives: Duplex ultrasound has become the reference standard in assessing the morphology and haemodynamics of the lower limb veins. The project described in this article was an initiative of the Union Internationale de Phlébologie (UIP). The aim was to obtain a consensus of international experts on the methodology and terminology to be used for assessment after treatment of incompetent superficial and perforating veins in the lower limb by ultrasound imaging.
Design: The study design was consensus meetings leading to a consensus document.
Methods: The UIP invited group submitted relevant literature references and written contributions concerning the methodology, terminology and value of duplex imaging after treatment. The authors prepared a draft document that was circulated to a larger group of experts and revised according to the comments received. Eventually, all participants agreed upon the final version of the article.
Results: Formal analysis of the results of interventions for varicose veins relies on adequate preoperative assessment and a careful description of the procedure employed. The timing of investigations of outcome should be classified as immediate (1-4 weeks), short-term (1 year), midterm (2-3 years) and long-term (5 years or more). The examination should employ standard methodology and formally described variables, which can be tailored to the intervention that was undertaken. The experts have made detailed recommendations concerning the methods to be used for duplex ultrasound examination and reporting after various treatments for varicose veins, including novel treatments under scientific study.
Conclusions: Duplex ultrasonography is a fundamental component of the investigation of the lower limb venous system after treatment for varicose veins.
Copyright © 2011 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.