A systematic review and meta-analysis of treatment modalities for anterior accessory saphenous vein insufficiency

Tamana Alozai, Eline Huizing, Michiel A. Schreve, Michael C. Mooij, Clarissa J. van Vlijmen, Willem Wisselink, Çağdaş Ünlü

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate and compare the outcomes of the available treatment modalities for anterior accessory saphenous vein (AASV) incompetence. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Studies reporting the outcomes of patients who were treated for primary AASV incompetence were included. The methodologic quality of the articles was assessed using the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS). A random-effects model was used to estimate anatomic success, defined as AASV occlusion. The secondary outcomes were pain during and after treatment, venous clinical severity score, quality of life, esthetic result, time to return to daily activities, and complications. Results: The search identified 860 articles, of which 16 met the inclusion criteria. A total of 609 AASVs were reported. The included studies were of poor or moderate quality according to MINORS score. The pooled anatomic success rates were 91.8% after endovenous laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation (EVLA, RFA, 11 studies), 93.6% after cyanoacrylate closure (3 studies), and 79.8% after sclerotherapy (2 studies). The non-pooled anatomic success rate was 97.9% after phlebectomy and 82% after CHIVA. Paresthesia was seen after EVLA in 0.7% of patients (6 studies). Phlebitis was seen in 2.6% of patients after RFA (2 studies), 27% after sclerotherapy (1 study), and 12% after the phlebectomy (1 study). Deep venous thrombosis and skin burn did not occur. Conclusion: Treatment of AASV incompetence is safe and effective. Despite limited evidence, occlusion of the AASV can be achieved with endovenous thermal ablation and cyanoacrylate. There does not appear to be a benefit of EVLA compared to RFA regarding treatment efficacy. Phlebectomy shows promising results if the saphenofemoral junction is competent. Lower results are seen after sclerotherapy and CHIVA. However, studies with sufficient sample sizes of solely treatment of AASV incompetence are needed to draw firm conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-179
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • AASV
  • Review
  • anterior accessory saphenous vein
  • meta-analysis
  • varicose veins
  • venous insufficiency

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