Radiofrequency and laser vein ablation for patients receiving warfarin anticoagulation is safe, effective, and durable

Gregory G. Westin, Neal S. Cayne, Victoria Lee, Jonathan Ekstroem, Patricia O. Yau, Mikel Sadek, Caron B. Rockman, Lowell S. Kabnick, Todd L. Berland, Thomas S. Maldonado, Glenn R. Jacobowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, durability, and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) of the great saphenous vein (GSV) and small saphenous vein (SSV) to treat symptomatic venous reflux in patients receiving therapeutic anticoagulation. Methods: Patients treated at a single institution with RFA or EVLA while receiving warfarin (Coumadin) anticoagulation were identified retrospectively along with a consecutive sample of patients not receiving anticoagulation who were similarly treated. Patients' demographics, comorbidities, procedural details, and follow-up data were obtained from electronic medical records. Outcomes of interest included the rates of persistent vein ablation, bleeding, deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and endothermal heat-induced thrombosis. Groups were compared using χ2 tests, Fisher exact test, Kaplan-Meier curves, and Cox proportional hazard modeling. Results: There were 100 procedures performed in 65 patients receiving anticoagulation and 127 procedures in 89 control patients. Mean follow-up time was 467 days. The most common indications for anticoagulation were atrial fibrillation (52%), remote DVT (29%), and mechanical heart valves (8%). Patients receiving anticoagulation were on average older (67 years vs 52 years), were more likely to be male (51% vs 27%), and had higher rates of coronary disease (9% vs 0%) and hypertension (55% vs 20%), although they were more likely to have never smoked (86% vs 69%). There were 127 RFA procedures (56%) and 100 EVLA procedures (44%); 189 procedures treated the GSV or its tributaries (83%), and 38 treated the SSV (17%). At 1 year, the target vessel remained ablated after 96% of procedures performed with anticoagulation and in 99% of controls; at 18 months, rates were 92% vs 95% (P =.96). Rates of persistent ablation did not differ significantly by vessel treated (P =.28), EVLA vs RFA (P =.36), or use of antiplatelet therapy (P =.92). One patient had bleeding from a phlebectomy site 2 days postprocedurally when supratherapeutic on warfarin; this was controlled with pressure. DVT in the ipsilateral leg occurred within 90 days after 1 of 100 (1%) procedures in patients receiving anticoagulation and 2 of 127 (1.6%) procedures in control patients; endothermal heat-induced thrombosis rates were similarly 1 of 100 (1%) procedures in patients receiving anticoagulation and 1 of 127 (0.8%) in control patients. Conclusions: This is the largest series to date reporting >30-day follow-up for patients undergoing venous ablation procedures while receiving anticoagulation and the longest follow-up reported of any series. Durability, safety, and efficacy of vein ablation in patients receiving anticoagulation are comparable to those in control patients. Anticoagulation should not be considered a contraindication to endothermal ablation of the GSV or SSV for symptomatic venous reflux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Anticoagulants
  • Catheter ablation
  • Patient outcome assessment
  • Venous insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Westin, G. G., Cayne, N. S., Lee, V., Ekstroem, J., Yau, P. O., Sadek, M., Rockman, C. B., Kabnick, L. S., Berland, T. L., Maldonado, T. S., & Jacobowitz, G. R. (Accepted/In press). Radiofrequency and laser vein ablation for patients receiving warfarin anticoagulation is safe, effective, and durable. Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2019.11.013