High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a new non-invasive technique for treating superficial venous incompetence in leg veins. However, limited data exist on the outcomes of HIFU treatment. A new study published by Mark Steven Whiteley and his colleagues in CoP Preprints aimed to demonstrate the 1-year results of HIFU treatment using the first CE-marked HIFU machine for varicose vein treatment (Theraclion, Paris, France).
The study included 51 patients and 79 legs, with 43 truncal veins and 146 incompetent perforator veins treated with pulses of either 4 or 8 seconds. Patients were invited back for scans at 1-2 weeks, 6-8 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after their treatment to determine the technical success rate of HIFU treatment. No patients underwent phlebectomy, either at the time of HIFU treatment or subsequently. Those patients with residual varicosities were treated with foam sclerotherapy as an adjunctive treatment.
The study found that successful ablation of the target vein was achieved in 79.1% of patients who had truncal veins treated with HIFU and returned for their 1-year scan. For the treatment of incompetent perforator veins with HIFU, the 1-year success rate was 84.5%, out of 71 legs scanned 1 year after treatment. The overall percentage success decreased slightly between 1-2 weeks post-treatment and 1-year post-treatment.
The results produced by HIFU are comparable to those of early Endovenous Thermal Ablation (EVTA). Some patients required adjunct ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy for residual varicosities. The study suggests that the success rate of HIFU treatment is likely to improve with experience and as technology advances with later-generation machines.
This study provides new evidence for the efficacy of HIFU treatment for varicose veins and highlights the potential of this non-invasive technique as a viable alternative to EVTA. The study was published in CoP Preprints by Mark Steven Whiteley, Melissa J Kiely, Alexandra A Croucher, Laura Taylor, Brittany E Hughes, Ewan Josser, and Omar Abu-Bakr.