Nonthermal endovenous treatments for varicose veins

Ontario Health
Record ID 32018000745
Original Title: Nonthermal minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins
Authors' objectives: This health technology assessment evaluates the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of nonthermal endovenous procedures (i.e., mechanochemical ablation [MOCA] and cyanoacrylate adhesive closure [CAC]) for people with symptomatic varicose veins. It also evaluates the budget impact of publicly funding nonthermal endovenous procedures and the experiences, preferences, and values of people with chronic venous disease.
Authors' results and conclusions: Results We included 19 primary studies reported in 25 publications comparing either MOCA or CAC with at least one other invasive treatment for symptomatic varicose veins. No studies compared MOCA with CAC. Based on evidence of low to moderate quality, MOCA resulted in slightly poorer technical outcomes (vein closure and recanalization) than thermal endovenous ablation procedures. However, clinical outcomes, quality of life improvement, and patient satisfaction were similar compared with RFA (GRADE: Very low to Moderate) and EVLA (GRADE: High). Cyanoacrylate adhesive closure resulted in little to no difference in technical outcomes, clinical outcomes, and quality of life improvement compared with RFA and EVLA (GRADE: Moderate). Patient satisfaction may also be similar (GRADE: Low). Recovery time was slightly reduced with nonthermal endovenous procedures compared with thermal ablation (GRADE: Moderate). The effect of CAC compared with surgical vein stripping is very uncertain (GRADE: Very low). Major complications of any procedure were rare, with minor complications occurring as expected and resolving. We included two European studies in the economic evidence review that were partially applicable to the Ontario context. Both studies found that thermal ablation procedures (RFA, EVLA, or steam vein sclerosis) were the most cost-effective treatments, compared with surgical vein stripping and nonthermal therapies. Our cost–utility analysis showed that surgical vein stripping is the least effective and most costly treatment among five treatments for varicose veins. Differences in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) between endovenous treatments (CAC, MOCA, RFA, and EVLA) were small. When the willingness-to-pay (WTP) value was $50,000 per QALY gained, the probabilities of being cost-effective were 55.6%, 18.8%, 15.6%, 10.0%, and 0%, for EVLA, CAC, MOCA, RFA, and surgical vein stripping, respectively. When the WTP was $100,000 per QALY gained, the probabilities of being cost-effective were 40.2%, 30.0%, 17.7%, 12.1%, and 0%, for EVLA, CAC, RFA, MOCA, and surgical vein stripping, respectively. Publicly funding endovenous procedures (both nonthermal and thermal) would increase the total volume of treatments, resulting in a total 5-year budget impact of around $17 million. People with varicose veins with whom we spoke reported positively on their experiences with the CAC procedure and its outcomes. They also described geographic and financial barriers to accessing the range of available treatment options Conclusions Cyanoacrylate adhesive closure and MOCA produced similar patient-important outcomes, and slightly shorter recovery compared with thermal ablation. Cyanoacrylate adhesive closure yielded similar anatomical outcomes as thermal endovenous ablation, but the technical outcomes of MOCA were slightly poorer. Compared with surgical vein stripping, all endovenous treatments were more effective and less expensive. If we were to look at the most cost-effective strategy (at WTP less than $100,000 per QALY), EVLA is most likely to be cost-effective. Assuming an 80% increase in the number of eligible people over the next 5 years, we estimate that publicly funding nonthermal and thermal endovenous treatments for varicose veins in Ontario would range from $2.59 million in year 1 to $4.35 million in year 5, and that the total 5-year budget impact would be around $17 million. For people with varicose veins, the CAC procedure was seen as a positive treatment method that reduced their symptoms and improved their quality of life.
Authors' recomendations: Ontario Health, based on guidance from the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding endovenous procedures for symptomatic varicose veins
Authors' methods: We performed a systematic literature search of the clinical evidence. We assessed the risk of bias of each included study using the Cochrane Risk of Bias or RoBANS tool, and the quality of the body of evidence according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group criteria. Meta-analysis was conducted using Review Manager 5.2, where appropriate. We performed a systematic economic literature search and conducted a cost–utility analysis with a 5year time horizon from the perspective of Ontario Ministry of Health. In our primary economic evaluation, we assessed the cost-effectiveness of nonthermal endovenous procedures (CAC and MOCA) compared with surgical vein stripping and thermal endovenous therapies (EVLA and RFA). We also analyzed the budget impact of publicly funding nonthermal and thermal endovenous therapies for adults with symptomatic varicose veins in Ontario over the next 5 years. Costs are expressed in 2020 Canadian dollars. To contextualize the potential value of nonthermal endovenous treatments, we spoke with 13 people with varicose veins who had sought various treatment options. We conducted phone interviews and qualitatively analyzed their responses regarding their care journey and the impact of different treatment options; the only nonthermal treatment that participants had experience with was CAC.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2021
Requestor: Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC); Ontario Ministry of Health
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: Canada
Province: Ontario
MeSH Terms
  • Varicose Veins
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Catheter Ablation
  • endovenous procedures
  • varicose veins
  • Cyanoacrylate adhesive closure
  • mechanochemical ablation
  • health technology assessment
  • patient preferences
  • minimally invasive procedures
  • budget impact
  • cost-effectiveness
Organisation Name: Ontario Health
Contact Address: 130 Bloor Street West, 10th Floor
Contact Name: Nancy Sikich
Contact Email:
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This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.