Telangiectasias and reticular veins of the lower extremities are common lesions. Sclerotherapy is considered the gold standard for treatment. The aim of our prospective randomized study was to compare the efficacy and safety of hypertonic 20% saline/2% lignocaine (HS) versus polidocanol 0.5% (POL) versus long-pulsed neodymium:ytrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG) laser (LAS) treatments of leg telangiectasias in women, using each patient as her own control. We included in this study 285 women with primary leg telangiectasias and reticular veins (C1AEpAS1PN) in order to be treated with sclerotherapy or laser. One leg was treated with either LAS, POL or HS. The other leg received, randomly, one other of these treatments. At the end there were 190 legs treated with each method. There were two sessions at 8-week interval. Assessment of vessel clearing and complications was conducted 2 months after each session using before and after photographs of the leg vessels using a six-point scale from 0 (no change) to 5 (100% cleared). For telangiectasias under 1 mm diameter LAS was better (RR=9.72, P<0.0001) than HS and also POL was better (RR=2.70, P=0.003); for telangiectasias over 1 mm diameter LAS and POL were better too (RR=2.70, P=0.003) respectively (RR=1.44, P=0.00756). For telangiectasias under 1 mm LAS treatment is clearly superior to POL treatment. For telangiectasias over 1 mm the hazard regression model showed a hazard ratio of 3.97 (P=0.047) for LAS and 4.96 (P=0.486) for POL vs. HS treatment. In conclusion, telangiectasias and reticular veins of the lower extremities can be successfully treated with Nd:YAG laser or sclerotherapy. Nd:YAG laser is recommended in treating small telangiectasias (under 1 mm diameter) while sclerotherapy with polidocanol is more efficient as long as telangiectasias diameter is growing.
Keywords: laser; sclerotherapy; telangiectasias treatment.