Clinical Features and Management of "Phlebitis-like Abnormal Reaction" After Cyanoacrylate Closure for the Treatment of Incompetent Saphenous Veins

Ann Vasc Surg. 2019 Feb;55:239-245. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2018.07.040. Epub 2018 Sep 11.


Background: Cyanoacrylate closure for the treatment of incompetent saphenous veins does not cause thermal damage and demonstrates satisfactory outcomes with rapid recovery. However, the characteristics of phlebitis-like abnormal reaction (PLAR), the most common adverse event after cyanoacrylate closure, have not been clarified. Moreover, it differs from typical phlebitis after thermal ablation. The objective of our study is to investigate the clinical features of PLAR after cyanoacrylate closure and to report its management.

Methods: A total of 160 patients with 271 incompetent saphenous veins (great saphenous veins, 201; small saphenous veins, 70) underwent cyanoacrylate closure with the VenaSeal™ system. We defined PLAR as any unusual skin condition that develops suddenly, such as erythema, itching, swelling, and pain/tenderness, over the treated veins several days after cyanoacrylate closure. Oral antihistamines and intravenous dexamethasone were administered to manage PLAR.

Results: Of the 271 treated veins, 69 experienced PLAR (25.4%). The mean time of occurrence was 13.6 ± 4.6 days after treatment. The rate of occurrence of erythema, itching, swelling, and pain/tenderness were 92.2%, 91.2%, 66.2%, and 48.5%, respectively. The occurrence of PLAR was significantly higher for great saphenous veins than for small saphenous veins (P < 0.001). Occurrences were more frequent in cases with a suprafascial great saphenous vein of length >10 cm than in cases with a subfascial great saphenous vein (P = 0.001). The proportion of patients who reported swelling decreased by more than half after the administration of oral antihistamine. The pain score on the 10th day also decreased significantly after the administration of antihistamine (P = 0.006).

Conclusions: PLAR must be distinguished from classic phlebitis. We believe that PLAR is a type IV hypersensitivity reaction due to a foreign body, and in our experience, antihistamines or steroids are effective for the prevention and management of PLAR.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cyanoacrylates / adverse effects*
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / chemically induced*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / drug therapy
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / physiopathology
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Histamine Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / chemically induced*
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / drug therapy
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebitis / chemically induced*
  • Phlebitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Phlebitis / drug therapy
  • Phlebitis / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Saphenous Vein* / diagnostic imaging
  • Saphenous Vein* / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Adhesives / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Venous Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Tissue Adhesives
  • Dexamethasone