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Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) for Sapheno-Popliteal Incompetence and Short Saphenous Vein (SSV) Reflux: A RCT

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Daniel Carradice, University of Hull Identifier:
First received: February 10, 2009
Last updated: December 2, 2014
Last verified: December 2014

Varicose veins are a common problem, affecting up to a third of the western adult population. Most suffer with aching, discomfort, pruritis, and muscle cramps, whilst complications include oedema, eczema, lipodermatosclerosis, ulceration, phlebitis, and bleeding. This is known to have a significant negative effect on patient's quality of life (QoL).

Surgery has been used for many years, but it is known that there is a temporary decline in QoL post-op. This was demonstrated in our pilot study. Surgery leads to painful and prolonged recovery in some patients and has the risks of infection, haematoma and nerve injury.

Recurrence rates are known to be significant. Duplex of veins post surgery has demonstrated persistent reflux in 9-29% of cases at 1 year, 13-40% at 2 years, 40% at 5 years and 60% at 34 years.

26% of NHS patients were 'very dissatisfied' with their varicose vein surgery.

Newer, less invasive treatments are being developed. It would be advantageous to find a treatment that avoided the morbidity of surgery, one that could be performed as a day-case procedure under a local anaesthetic, a treatment that could offer lower recurrence rates and allow an early return to work. These should be the aims of any new treatment for varicose veins.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is performed under a local anaesthetic and uses laser energy delivered into the vein to obliterate it. The vein therefore need not be tied off surgically and stripped out.

The aim of this study is to compare the clinical, cost effectiveness and safety of Surgery and EVLT.

Condition Intervention
Venous Insufficiency
Varicose Veins
Procedure: Surgery
Procedure: EVLT

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Endovenous Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Varicose Veins Secondary to Isolated Sapheno-Popliteal Incompetence and Short Saphenous Reflux

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Hull:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Generic Quality of Life - Short Form-36 [ Time Frame: 1 Week,, 6 Weeks, 3 Months, 1 Year, 2 Years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Disease Specific Quality of Life - Aberdeen Varicose Vein Questionnaire [ Time Frame: 1 Week, 6 Weeks, 3 Months, 1 Year, 2 Years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Generic quality of life - EuroQol [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Venous Clinical Severity Score [ Time Frame: 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Visual analogue pain scores [ Time Frame: 1 week ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Return to work and normal functioning [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Would undergo EVLT again if necessary [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Complication rates [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
  • Duplex assessment [ Time Frame: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, 2 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
  • Cost Effectiveness [ Time Frame: 2 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 106
Study Start Date: October 2005
Primary Completion Date: August 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Surgery
Patients undergo Surgery under a general anaesthetic.
Procedure: Surgery
Saphenopopliteal junction ligation, stripping of the Short Saphenous vein where possible, perforator ligation and ambulatory phlebectomy, where necessary.
Other Name: Crossectomy
Experimental: EVLT
Patients undergo EVLT under a local anaesthetic.
Procedure: EVLT
EVLT of the Short saphenous vein with perforator ligation and / or ambulatory phlebectomy as required.
Other Name: Endovenous Laser therapy, Endovenous Laser Ablation, EVLA


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Genders Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Primary, symptomatic, varicose veins
  • Isolated Sapheno-popliteal (SPJ) incompetence, leading to reflux in the Short saphenous vein (SSV) on duplex ultrasound
  • SSV of 4mm distally
  • Ability to give informed written consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to give informed written consent
  • Symptomatic or complicated varicose veins not attributable to SPJ/SSV reflux
  • Evidence of deep venous reflux on duplex scan
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00841178

United Kingdom
Hull Royal Infirmary
Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, HU3 2JZ
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Hull
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Principal Investigator: Ian C Chetter, MBChB University of Hull
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Daniel Carradice, Clinical Lecturer, University of Hull Identifier: NCT00841178     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HELP 2 
Study First Received: February 10, 2009
Last Updated: December 2, 2014
Health Authority: United Kingdom: National Health Service

Keywords provided by University of Hull:
Randomised controlled trial
Venous insufficiency
Varicose veins
Quality of Life
Clinical effectiveness
Cost effectiveness

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Venous Insufficiency
Varicose Veins
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases processed this record on January 17, 2017