Long-term results of transjugular coil embolisation for pelvic vein reflux - Results of the abolition of venous reflux at 6-8 years

Phlebology. 2016 Aug;31(7):456-62. doi: 10.1177/0268355515591306. Epub 2015 Jun 17.


Background: Pelvic venous reflux is known to be associated with lower limb varicose veins in 20% of women with a history of at least one previous vaginal delivery. Pelvic vein embolisation with coils has been shown to be a successful treatment in the short term. The objective of this study was to ascertain the long-term outcomes of pelvic vein embolisation for pelvic venous reflux.

Methods: Patients who had undergone pelvic vein embolisation in 2005-2007 were invited back to a specialist vein unit for transvaginal duplex ultrasonography in the summer of 2013. A total of 110 women were contacted. Pre-embolisation transvaginal duplex ultrasonography results were compared to those obtained six weeks post-procedure and at long-term follow-up.

Results: Twenty-eight female patients aged 40 to 75 years (mean 53.5) attended (response rate 25.5%), with parity prior to embolisation ranging from 1-5 children (mean 2.8). Mean follow-up time was 7.5 years. Six weeks post-procedure, 25 women had complete or virtual elimination of all reflux, and three had persistent reflux in at least one vein. At long-term follow-up, 11 women had complete elimination of all reflux, seven had elimination of all truncal reflux but minor reflux in vulval veins, six had minor reflux in one truncal vein, and four had significant reflux in one or more truncal veins (one of these gave birth one-year post-pelvic vein embolisation and another had coils removed during gynaecological surgery).

Conclusions: Transjugular pelvic vein embolisation is a durable technique for the abolition of reflux in the pelvic veins and is particularly adept at treating reflux in the ovarian veins.

Keywords: Duplex ultrasound; internal iliac veins; ovarian veins; pelvic vein embolisation; pelvic vein reflux; varicose veins.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex*