A study conducted at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK, indicates that the VeinCLEAR catheter (RF Medical) produces good results when used in radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of lower extremity superficial venous insufficiency. The study team, led by Adam M Gwozdz, now suggest that “Long-term evaluation of this device is now needed to ensure that these encouraging early results are maintained.”
Radiofrequency ablation “is a widely accepted alternative” to high ligation with proximal stripping of the great and short saphenous veins in treating lower extremity superficial venous insufficiency, Gwozdz and colleagues write. The VeinCLEAR catheter is an endovenous radiofrequency ablation system that achieves venous closure by heating a treatment coil when placed through a 7Fr introducer sheath (with available coil lengths of 1cm, 1.5cm, 2cm, 3cm and 7cm).
Gwozdz et al analysed VeinCLEAR radiofrequency ablation procedures on 44 legs (41 patients [51% male] with mean age 50 years, range 26–81 years) conducted at St Thomas’ Hospital. They prospectively recorded the length of catheter used, the number of treatment cycles completed and the radiofrequency ablation times. Duplex ultrasonography was performed three months after surgery to assess vein patency.
In 91% of cases (n=40), a 100mm catheter was used, with a 70mm catheter being used in the remaining four cases. The median number of cycles was six (range 2–10 cycles) and the median radiofrequency ablation time was 1:46 minutes (range 0:40–3:20 minutes). Occlusion rates in the greater saphenous and short saphenous veins were reported as 97.4% (38/39) and 100%, respectively at three-month follow-up.
“VeinCLEAR catheters catheters are affective at venous closure during RFA procedures in the short-term,” conclude the authors. Based on these three-month data, Gwozdz and colleagues now believe that a longer-term study is justified.