Relationships between duplex findings and quality of life in long-term follow-up of patients treated for chronic venous disease

Phlebology. 2016 Mar;31(1 Suppl):88-98. doi: 10.1177/0268355516630868.


Objective: Relationships between duplex findings and data on health-related quality of life (QoL) to assess long-term results of treatment of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are not well known. The goal of this review was to correlate duplex findings and QoL assessments in clinical studies with long-term follow-up.

Methods: A review of the English language literature on PUBMED revealed 17 clinical studies, including 9 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 6 prospective, and 2 retrospective studies that included patients with at least 5-year follow-up after endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), radiofrequency ablation (RFA), ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS), and traditional superficial venous surgery.

Results: At 5 years, great saphenous vein (GSV) occlusion rate on duplex ultrasound ranged from 66% to 82% for EVLA, from 62% to 92% for RFA, from 41% to 58% for UGFS and from 54% to 85% for surgery. Freedom from GSV reflux rates were 82% and 84%, respectively for EVLA and surgery, and ranged between 84% and 95% for RFA. Significant improvements were observed in several domains of generic QoL and in most domains of venous disease-specific QoL, irrespective of the treatment. In at least one RCT, CIVIQ scores correlated well with abnormal duplex findings in patients who underwent treatment with UGFS. In another RCT, long-term AVVQ was significantly better after surgery as compared with UGFS similar to results of duplex findings.

Conclusions: Analysis of the available literature confirmed that all four techniques were effective in the abolishment of reflux or obliteration of the GSV. Moreover, well-designed RCTs with large sample size are needed to produce robust long-term data on clinical outcome after treatment of varicose veins and CVI and to better understand the relationships between duplex-derived data and QoL assessments.

Keywords: Varicose veins; duplex ultrasound; endovenous thermal ablation; foam sclerotherapy; quality of life assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Saphenous Vein / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Venous Insufficiency / physiopathology*
  • Venous Insufficiency / therapy*