Ultrasound-Guided Injection of Polidocanol Microfoam in the Management of Venous Leg Ulcers Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Venous leg ulceration is a frequent and severe complication of lower limb venous insufficiency. Compression therapy is associated with a protracted course of healing and multiple recurrences. Minimally invasive surgery (subfascial endoscopic perforating surgery) is only possible in a subset of patients with leg ulcers. Low-cost and noninvasive therapeutic procedures are needed as alternative treatments. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of sclerosant in microfoam in treating venous leg ulceration. DESIGN: A retrospective study of medical records, pretreatment and posttreatment color photographs, and echo Doppler in patients with venous leg ulceration. All patients were evaluated at 6 months after therapy, 70% were also evaluated at 2 years, 25% at 3 years, and 14% at 4 or more years after treatment. They were assessed for complete (100%) ulcer healing, time to wound closure, and recurrence. SETTING: Private vascular surgery clinic in Granada and dermatology department at a hospital in Pamplona, Spain. PATIENTS: Over 115 months, 116 consecutive patients (mean age [range], 57 [25-85] years) treated with ultrasound-guided injection of polidocanol microfoam (UIPM). INTERVENTIONS: To reduce venous hypertension, UIPM was used to selectively and progressively sclerose sources of incompetence. The number of sessions per patient varied between 1 and 17 (mean, 3.6). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Complete ulcer healing, defined as full reepithelialization of the wound with absence of drainage. Recurrence was defined as epithelial breakdown in the healed limb. RESULTS: At 6-months' follow-up, treatment with UIPM achieved complete healing in 83% of patients (96/116), with median time to healing of 2.7 months; 7 patients were never cured, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. There were recurrences in 10 patients. CONCLUSIONS: The use of UIPM to selectively and progressively sclerose incompetent veins produced by venous hypertension is highly effective to achieve a stable ulcer healing with minimal invasion, even in elderly patients. Recurrences are easily treatable with this approach. This technique may become a first-line treatment in the management of leg venous ulcers.


  • Martinez-Gonzalez, Miguel
  • Cabrera, Juan
  • Redondo, Pedro
  • Becerra, Antonio
  • Garrido, Celia
  • Cabrera, Jr, Juan
  • García-Olmedo, María Antonia
  • Sierra, Alejandro
  • Lloret, Pedro
  • Martínez-González, Miguel A

publication date

  • June 1, 2004