Treatment of lower extremity telangiectasias in women by foam sclerotherapy vs. Nd:YAG laser: a prospective, comparative, randomized, open-label trial.

Parlar, B; Blazek, Claudia Rosa; Cazzaniga, S; Naldi, L; Klötgen, Hans-Willhelm; Borradori, Luca; Büttiker, Urs (2014). Treatment of lower extremity telangiectasias in women by foam sclerotherapy vs. Nd:YAG laser: a prospective, comparative, randomized, open-label trial. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 29(3), pp. 549-554. Blackwell 10.1111/jdv.12627

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BACKGROUND Telangiectasias of the lower extremities are very common. There are no blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trials comparing laser modalities with the gold standard sclerotherapy, while the few available studies encompass small patients cohorts. OBJECTIVE This prospective, randomized, open-label trial compares the efficacy of sclerotherapy with polidocanol vs. long-pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG) laser in the treatment of leg telangiectasias. PATIENTS AND METHODS Fifty-six female patients with primary leg telangiectasias and reticular veins (C1A or S Ep AS 1 PN ) were included in the study. One leg was randomly assigned to get treatment with the multiple synchronized long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser, while the other received foam sclerotherapy with polidocanol 0.5%. The patients were treated in two sessions at intervals of 6 weeks. The patients were evaluated by the handling physician after 6 weeks and 6 months. Two investigators assessed blindly at the end of the study the photographs for clearing of the vessels using a six-point scale from 1 (no change) to 6 (100% cleared). Patients reported about pain sensation and outcome satisfaction. RESULTS According to the handling dermatologist, at the last follow-up, there was an improvement of 30-40% with a median of 3 (IQR 2) and a good improvement of 50-70% with a median of 4 (IQR 2) after laser treatment and sclerotherapy respectively. In contrast, according to the blinded investigators, there was a median of 5 (IQR 1) with a very good improvement of >70% after both therapies. Improvement was achieved more quickly by sclerotherapy, although at the last follow-up visit there was no difference in clearance between the two groups as assessed by the blinded experts (P-value 0.84). The degree of patient's satisfaction was very good and similar with both therapeutic approaches. There was a significant difference (P-value 0.003) regarding pain perception between the types of therapy. Laser was felt more painful than sclerotherapy. CONCLUSION Telangiectasias of the lower extremities can be successfully treated with either synchronized long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser or sclerotherapy. The 1064-nm long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser is associated with more pain and is suitable especially in case of needle phobia, allergy to sclerosants and in presence of small veins with telangiectatic matting, while sclerotherapy can also treat the feeder veins.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology

UniBE Contributor:

Blazek, Claudia Rosa; Klötgen, Hans-Willhelm; Borradori, Luca and Büttiker, Urs


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Monika Schenk

Date Deposited:

16 Apr 2015 15:34

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2015 11:29

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