Relationship between iliofemoral venous stenting and femoropopliteal deep venous reflux

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2023 Mar;11(2):346-350. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2022.07.011. Epub 2022 Aug 20.


Objective: Severe presentations of chronic venous insufficiency can result from reflux or obstruction at the deep venous, perforator, or superficial venous levels. Iliofemoral venous stenting can be used to address central venous obstruction; however, its effects on deep venous reflux (DVR) have remained unclear. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of iliac vein stenting on femoropopliteal DVR with the hypothesis that ultrasound evidence of DVR would remain absent or would have improved after iliac vein stenting.

Methods: The present study was a retrospective review of patients who had undergone iliofemoral venous stenting from 2013 to 2018. The patients were divided into two cohorts according to the preprocedural presence (group A) or absence (group B) of femoropopliteal DVR. Baseline patient variables were collected, including age, gender, CEAP (clinical, etiologic, anatomic, pathophysiologic) class, presence of concomitant superficial or perforator reflux, deep vein thrombosis history, and additional venous interventions. The primary outcome evaluated was the persistent absence or resolution of DVR on the latest venous duplex ultrasound at follow-up. Other outcomes included the follow-up CEAP classification and the need for secondary deep venous interventions.

Results: A total of 275 consecutive patients had undergone iliofemoral venous stenting. Of the 275 patients, 58 had presented with DVR (group A). A comparison of groups A and B revealed that group A had had a greater likelihood of prior deep vein thrombosis (P = .0001) and a higher frequency of superficial venous ablation. The remaining demographic variables did not differ significantly between the two groups. Of the 58 patients in group A, DVR had resolved at follow-up in 17 (P = .0001). When stratified by level, 7 of these 17 patients had had isolated popliteal reflux. In group B, DVR had developed at follow-up in 6 of the 217 patients. The CEAP class had improved from before intervention (C0, 1.1%; C1, 0.4%; C2, 1.8%; C3, 41.4%; C4, 24.9%; C5, 5.9%; C6, 24.5%) to the latest follow up (C0, 4.9%; C1, 1.9%; C2, 5.7%; C3, 34.2%; C4, 22.8%; C5, 17.1%; C6, 13.3%). Significant improvement had occurred in C6 disease within both groups (group A, 16 of 58 [27.6%; P = .0078]; group B, 19 of 217 [8.8%; P = .0203]).

Conclusions: For patients who undergo iliofemoral venous stenting, DVR could improve if present initially and is unlikely to develop if not present before stenting. A cohort of patients had experienced persistent DVR and warranted further evaluation. Prospective studies are required to corroborate the safety, efficacy, and durability of iliofemoral venous stenting for patients with DVR.

Keywords: Deep venous reflux; Iliofemoral stenting; Varicose veins.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Iliac Vein
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Diseases* / complications
  • Venous Insufficiency*
  • Venous Thrombosis* / complications