A randomised controlled trial of neuromuscular stimulation in non-operative venous disease improves clinical and symptomatic status

Phlebology. 2021 May;36(4):290-302. doi: 10.1177/0268355520968640. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


Background: This randomised controlled trial investigates the dosing effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in patients with chronic venous disease (CVD).

Methods: Seventy-six patients with CEAP C3-C5 were randomised to Group A (no NMES), B (30 minutes of NMES daily) or C (60 minutes of NMES daily). Primary outcome was percentage change in Femoral Vein Time Averaged Mean Velocity (TAMV) at 6 weeks. Clinical severity scores, disease-specific and generic quality of life (QoL) were assessed.

Results: Seventy-six patients were recruited - mean age 60.8 (SD14.4) and 47:29 male. Six patients lost to follow-up. Percentage change in TAMV (p<0.001) was significantly increased in Groups B and C. Aberdeen Varicose Veins Questionnaire Score (-6.9, p=0.029) and Venous Clinical Severity Score (-4, p-0.003) improved in Group C, and worsened in Group A (+1, p=0.025).

Conclusions: Daily NMES usage increases flow parameters, with twice daily usage improving QoL and clinical severity at 6 weeks in CVD patients.

Keywords: CEAP clinical class; Venous stasis; venous disease; venous reflux; venous severity score.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Femoral Vein
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Varicose Veins*
  • Venous Insufficiency* / therapy