Intervening early with endovenous ablation in patients with venous leg ulcers could significantly improve ulcer healing times and delay their recurrence, new research has found.
A randomized study presented at the International Charing Cross Symposium and published simultaneously in the April 24 issue of thecompared the effects of early endovenous ablation with those of deferred ablation in 450 patients with venous leg ulcers, all of whom also received compression therapy.
The study showed that patients who received endovenous ablation within 2 weeks of randomization had significantly shorter healing times, compared with patients whose ablation was deferred for 6 months or until after the ulcer healed.
In the early-treatment group, the median time to ulcer healing was 56 days, while in the deferred-treatment group, it was 82 days. By 12 months, 93.8% of the early-intervention group had healed ulcers, compared with 85.8% in the deferred-intervention group.
Even after adjustment for factors such as patient age, ulcer size, ulcer duration, and recruitment center, patients who received early endovenous ablation were 38% more likely to have healed by 12 months, compared with the deferred-intervention group.
Researchers also saw significantly higher healing rates at 12 weeks in the early-intervention group, compared with the deferred-intervention group (63.5% vs. 51.6%, respectively).
“Observational studies have suggested that endovenous treatment of varicose veins – a treatment that may be particularly appropriate for the elderly population with venous leg ulcers – may improve ulcer healing,” wrote, from the Cambridge (United Kingdom) University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and from Imperial College London and his coauthors. “In the current trial, we found that faster ulcer healing can be attained if an endovenous intervention is performed promptly.”