John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


Radiofrequency induced thermotherapy (RFITT) of varicose veins compared to endovenous laser treatment (EVLT): a non-randomized prospective study concentrating on occlusion rates, side-effects and clinical outcome. Volume 21, issue 6, November-December 2011


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Kurpark Center of Dermatology, König-Karl-Str. 28, 70372 Stuttgart, Germany, Villamed, Dayclinic of Varicose Surgery, Munich, Germany, Department of Dermatology, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg/Saar, Germany

Background: Radiofrequency obliteration (RFO) and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) are established techniques in varicose therapy. A novel bipolar RFO technique – Radiofrequency Induced Thermotherapy (RFITT) – was introduced in 2007. Comparative studies of RFITT and EVLT with one year follow-up are missing. Objective: Comparison of RFITT with EVLT concentrating on occlusion, side-effects, and patients’ satisfaction in a prospective non-randomized study. Methods: 133 patients with incompetent GSV or SSV were treated by RFITT (n=66) or EVLT (n=67). Follow-up at days 1, 7, and months 3, 12 included duplex, digital photoplethysmography (DPPG), assessment of VCSS and patients’ satisfaction. Results: Both groups were balanced concerning clinical parameters. Occlusion rates were in trend in favour of EVLT (96.9%) vs RFITT (88.9%), p=0.093, at 12 months follow-up. Functional outcome by DPPG (refilling time: 30.8 vs 31.9 sec.), and side-effects were comparable apart from pain in the first postoperative week, which was more frequent in the EVLT group (0 vs 16.4%, p=0.001). Change in VCSS from baseline was advantageous for EVLT (89.9% vs 79.3%, p=0.005). Major complications did not occur. Both techniques provided excellent satisfaction results. Conclusion: After one year RFITT is similarly as effective and safe as EVLT treatment of varicose insufficiency, but needs improvement in treatment parameters.