Safety and feasibility report on nonimplantable endovenous valve formation for the treatment of deep vein reflux

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2021 Sep;9(5):1200-1208. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2020.12.073. Epub 2021 Jan 19.


Objective: Definitive treatment techniques for symptomatic deep venous reflux have been relegated to complex and invasive open surgery which is rarely performed today. The BlueLeaf System provides an endovenous method for the formation of deep venous valves without an implant, avoiding the complications associated with permanent foreign materials. The system has the adaptability to form valves within the femoral and popliteal veins at multiple levels in a single procedure. The aim was to determine the midterm safety and efficacy of this novel device in an early feasibility study.

Methods: Feasibility of endovenous deep venous valve formation was assessed in patients with chronic venous insufficiency (Clinical, Etiologic, Anatomic, Pathophysiologic [CEAP] 4-6). Follow-up was completed through 1 year, assessing vein patency and reflux time (RT) with duplex ultrasound examination. Venous clinical improvement was evaluated using the revised Venous Clinical Severity Scale.

Results: Of the 14 patients, 13 (93%) had successful formation of at least one monocuspid valve, with a mean number of 1.4 valves (range, 0-3 valves) per patient. There were no device-related serious adverse events during the index procedure. There were no deep venous thromboses reported at any time point, including 10 patients through the 1-year follow-up. In patients with at least one valve formed, site reported duplex ultrasound examination measured the average RT in the popliteal vein below valve formations, was 3.0 ± 1.0 seconds at baseline, 3.9 ± 3.1 seconds at 30 days, and 3.6 ± 2.1 seconds at 360 days. The revised Venous Clinical Severity Scale improved in all 13 successfully treated patients, decreasing from 15.0 ± 6.0 at baseline to 11.6 ± 5.5 at 30 days, 10.7 ± 5.3 at 210 days, and 9.4 ± 5.0 at 360 days (P = .0002; baseline to 360 days). Among the five patients with an ulcer who reached the 360-day follow-up visit, all (100%) healed at least one ulcer. Two patients (40%) healed all ulcers and three patients (60%) had a decrease in ulcers number but remained at C6 at 360 days. The five patients with a total of nine active ulcers at baseline had four active ulcers at 360 days.

Conclusions: The BlueLeaf System holds promise as a minimally invasive means to safely form fully autogenous deep venous valves. Reconstructed deep veins remained patent, without deep venous thrombosis and symptomatic improvement was consistently observed; however, a decrease in the RT was not. Incremental device design improvements have been undertaken to improve valve function. The results of these iterations await further clinical evaluation.

Keywords: Chronic venous insufficiency; Deep vein reflux; Deep veins; Endovenous; Ulcer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Endovascular Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Femoral Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Vein / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Popliteal Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Popliteal Vein / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
  • Vascular Patency
  • Venous Insufficiency / surgery*