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Compression stockings for the initial treatment of varicose veins in patients without venous ulceration

  1. Sarah Shingler1,*,
  2. Lindsay Robertson2,
  3. Sheila Boghossian3,
  4. Marlene Stewart4

Editorial Group: Cochrane Vascular Group

Published Online: 9 DEC 2013

Assessed as up-to-date: 20 AUG 2013

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008819.pub3


How to Cite

Shingler S, Robertson L, Boghossian S, Stewart M. Compression stockings for the initial treatment of varicose veins in patients without venous ulceration. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD008819. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008819.pub3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Oxford Outcomes, Oxford, UK

  2. 2

    The Freeman Hospital, Department of Vascular Surgery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

  3. 3

    The University of Edinburgh, Public Health Sciences, The Medical School, Edinburgh, UK

  4. 4

    University of Edinburgh, Centre for Population Health Sciences, Edinburgh, UK

*Sarah Shingler, Oxford Outcomes, Seacourt Tower, West Way, Oxford, OX2 0JJ, UK. shinglersl@hotmail.com.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New search for studies and content updated (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 9 DEC 2013

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Background

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms
 

Description of the condition

Varicose veins are tortuous, widened veins in the subcutaneous tissue of the lower limb (Campbell 2006). Varicose veins that have arisen as a result of a known cause, such as a previous deep vein thrombosis, are known as secondary varicose veins (Golledge 2003). Theories on the cause of primary varicose veins range from initial structural weakness within the vein wall, which leads to vein dilation, to valve incompetence leading to pooling of the blood and vein dilation (Golledge 2003; London 2000). The Clinical, Etiology, Anatomy, Pathophysiology (CEAP) classification for chronic venous disorders was developed in 1994 by the American Venous Forum and was revised and disseminated in 2004 (Eklöf 2004). It serves as a systematic guide to the diagnosis and classification of chronic venous disorders, which was previously lacking. Today, most published papers on chronic venous disorders will use all or some of the CEAP classification (Eklöf 2004). There are six categories, ranging from small superficial thread like veins (C1) to active venous ulcers (C6). A classification of C0 is given where no clinical findings of venous disease are found. The CEAP classification is therefore used to classify and diagnose varicose veins, which if uncomplicated are classed as grade C2. A classification of C3 indicates varicose veins with oedema and a classification of C4 indicates varicose veins with skin changes due to venous disorders (Padberg 2005). In 2004, it was also decided to define a varicose vein as greater than 3 mm in diameter, to differentiate from reticular veins (Eklöf 2004).

Although varicose veins are associated with low morbidity and mortality, many sufferers seek medical advice and there is some evidence that quality of life can be improved following treatment. Approximately 2% of NHS resources in the UK are spent on managing venous disease, with an estimated £20 to 25 million (excluding non-hospital costs) spent on operations for varicose veins in the year 2001 (Beale 2005). Many patients with varicose veins are asymptomatic, but some experience aching, dullness in the lower limbs, itching, throbbing, distress about the cosmetic appearance and swelling (Metcalfe 2008). Around 5% will develop complications including haemorrhage, thrombophlebitis, oedema, skin pigmentation, atrophie blanche, varicose eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and ulceration (Beale 2005). Prevalence of the condition varies widely between studies from different countries (up to 56% in men and 60% in women) and few studies have measured the incidence within the general population (Robertson 2008). Currently there is geographical variation within the UK as to whether varicose veins (CEAP classification C2 to C4) are treated on the NHS, which is often dependent on financial restrictions (Edwards 2009).

 

Description of the intervention

Lower limb compression has been used to treat varicose veins since biblical times (Pierson 1983). Nowadays, compression hosiery or stockings (knee and thigh length and full tights) are often first line treatment for varicose veins, especially in primary care, even though evidence supporting their use is limited (Ramelet 2002; Tisi 2007). Although compression may be achieved by different modalities, this review is restricted to compression stockings. There are currently five classifications of compression stockings based on the different manufacturers, who apply different thresholds of pressure as measured at the ankle for different classes: the British Standard, German Standard, French Standard, draft European standard and USA Standard. The draft European standard was developed to try and ensure consistency within the European Union but, due to lack of consensus, this has not occurred (Rajendran 2007). Each classification has between three and four classes according to differing levels of pressure as set by the manufacturer (Palfreyman 2009). This sub-bandage pressure range varies greatly between different countries, leading to variation in the different norms for stockings internationally. For example, for class one alone, the British Standard bandage pressure can be between 14 and 17 mmHg whereas the German Standard can be between 18 and 21 mmHg. Stockings come in a variety of lengths, knee length, thigh length and full tights. The optimum length and pressure are not known, but studies suggest that a lower compression pressure (20 to 30 mmHg) is tolerated better than are higher levels (Beale 2005).

 

How the intervention might work

Optimum management of varicose veins requires accurate diagnosis and identification of the source of venous incompetence, and treatment should aim to abolish venous reflux and relieve symptoms (Beale 2005). Graded compression works by applying a controlled pressure to the skin. This supports the superficial venous system by exerting an external pressure that is greatest at the ankle (minimum of 14 mmHg) and decreases up the leg (Johnson 2002). By reducing venous capacity and increasing venous velocity in the deeper veins, venous stasis and reflux are reduced helping to reduce the severity of varicose veins and the associated symptoms (Walker 2007). It is, however, important to be aware that the effect of compression stockings is influenced by many factors. For example, the material (both compression class and elasticity) of the stocking, the size and shape of the leg, and the activity of the wearer can all influence the compression applied (Rabe 2008).

 

Why it is important to do this review

Although compression therapy is widely used in the management of varicose veins, there is still conflicting, poor quality evidence on its effectiveness. There is evidence that patients with varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration can go on to develop severe complications and consume a large amount of NHS resources. If treatments such as compression stockings can be used to treat varicose veins in the early stages, morbidity and resource use may ultimately be reduced. This review is important to assess the efficacy of compression stockings in the treatment of varicose veins in people without healed or active venous ulceration, including the optimum length and pressure of stockings and whether the use of stockings has any effect on the symptoms related to varicose veins.

 

Objectives

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

To assess the effectiveness of compression stockings for the only and initial treatment of varicose veins in patients without healed or active venous ulceration.

 

Methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms
 

Criteria for considering studies for this review

 

Types of studies

We considered all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in people with varicose veins and without healed or active venous ulceration (CEAP classification C2 to C4) that assessed:

  • compression stockings versus no treatment,
  • compression stockings versus placebo compression stocking (Tubigrip, for example, which does not provide graduated pressure), or
  • compression plus a drug intervention versus the drug intervention alone.

We also included studies that compared different lengths and pressures of compression stockings. We included parallel group and cross-over trials. There were no language restrictions.

Trials in which compression stockings were compared with interventions other than no treatment, placebo compression stockings or stockings of another length or pressure (for example sclerotherapy, surgery, laser therapy, exercise, balneotherapy or hydrotherapy) were excluded.

Existing Cochrane reviews have assessed the treatment of varicose veins using surgical techniques including sclerotherapy (Rigby 2004; Tisi 2006) as well as assessing the best form of prevention and management of venous disease in certain subsets of the population such as pregnant women (Bamigboye 2007) and those travelling by air (Clarke 2006).

Trials in which compression stockings were assessed against no treatment or a placebo stocking as an adjuvant to primary (initial) treatment with surgery, sclerotherapy or laser therapy were also excluded, as were those assessing other methods of compression such as pneumatic compression techniques.

Studies of participants with a CEAP classification of C5 or C6, indicating venous ulcers, were also excluded due to overlap with an existing Cochrane review (Kolbach 2003).

 

Types of participants

We included adults (aged 18 years and above) of both sexes who suffered from varicose veins without having healed or active venous ulceration in the lower limb(s). The classification of varicose veins was performed according to CEAP. If methods such as duplex scanning were used to assist in the diagnosis, a clinical diagnosis of trunk or stem varicose veins (CEAP C2) was also required, with or without ankle oedema or minor skin changes (CEAP C3 & C4). Where venous leg ulcers (CEAP C5 and C6) or other severe complications were present, the participants were not included. In studies where the CEAP classification was not used, in early studies for example, a diagnosis by a clinician of trunk varices or varicose veins was sufficient.

Co-morbidity or pregnancy did not influence the decision to include or exclude a trial. Trials including participants who had bilateral varicose veins but where compression was only applied unilaterally were included.

 

Types of interventions

Interventions included compression from any type of hosiery that exerted a graduated pressure on the lower limb(s). We included any length (knee, thigh, full tights) and grade of pressure. Compression had to be from a graduated pressure stocking and not from a more general support bandage such as Tubigrip.

We compared the intervention with no intervention at all, a placebo stocking such as Tubigrip, or both.

We also included trials that involved participants taking a drug intervention when the drug alone was compared against drug plus compression stocking, allowing the effect of the compression stocking to be assessed.

We assessed comparisons between different lengths or different grades of pressure, or both, where trials compared stockings in two arms of the same trial.

 

Types of outcome measures

 

Primary outcomes

  • Change in symptoms such as aching and itching, reported by participants

  • Physiological measures used to monitor the impact of the intervention on varicose vein status, such as venous pressure at the ankle

 

Secondary outcomes

  • Complications: these included direct complications or side effects from wearing the stockings, e.g. itching, increase in temperature

  • Compliance: this included ensuring the patient was wearing the stockings and that they were being worn correctly, measured subjectively e.g. a report from the patient that they had stopped wearing the stockings

  • Quality of life: where this was measured using a standard questionnaire

 

Search methods for identification of studies

 

Electronic searches

For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator (TSC) searched the Specialised Register (last searched August 2013) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) 2013, Issue 5, part of The Cochrane Library, (www.thecochranelibrary.com). See Appendix 1 for details of the search strategy used to search CENTRAL. The Specialised Register is maintained by the TSC and is constructed from weekly electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, and through handsearching relevant journals. The full list of the databases, journals and conference proceedings which have been searched, as well as the search strategies used are described in the Specialised Register section of the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group module in The Cochrane Library (www.thecochranelibrary.com).

 

Searching other resources

For the original version of the review (Shingler 2011) we contacted companies, specialists in the field and journal article authors in order to obtain information regarding unpublished data, or to clarify information where needed. We checked reference lists of appropriate cited studies and reviewed conference proceedings and abstracts from relevant organisations.

 

Data collection and analysis

 

Selection of studies

We used the search strategy described to obtain titles and abstracts of studies that were potentially relevant to this review. Two review authors (SS and LR) independently screened the titles and abstracts to identify studies and select trials for possible inclusion in the review. Full text articles were obtained where the above inclusion criteria were met, where further clarification was required, or if translation was necessary. Any disagreements were resolved first by discussion between review authors and, where required, through consultation with the third author (SB).

One review author (SS) attempted to contact three trial authors or co-authors for additional information in order to allow a decision regarding inclusion or exclusion of their studies in this review. This included not being able to tell if all participants had varicose veins or whether subgroup analysis had been performed. Only one study author provided additional information to permit a judgment to be made (Benigni 2003).

 

Data extraction and management

Two review authors (SS and LR) independently reviewed, extracted and summarised information from the studies using standardised data extraction forms specific to the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Disease Group. The studies were checked for accuracy by a third review author (SB) where required.

The following information was collected:

1) methods (study design, method of randomisation, concealment of allocation, blinding, power calculations, and source of funding);

2) participants (number, age, sex, inclusion and exclusion criteria);

3) interventions (treatment, control or placebo, duration);

4) outcomes (primary and secondary).

 

Assessment of risk of bias in included studies

Risk of bias tables were completed for each included study along with narrative in the text to assess the quality of the included studies. Tables were completed independently by two review authors (SS and LR) with a third (SB) available to resolve disagreements, in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 5.0.2, Chapter 8 (Higgins 2009). The minimum level of study quality included in this review was a RCT. Where this level of quality was not met, the trials were excluded. If enough high quality studies were found, sensitivity analysis was planned.

The 'Risk of bias' tables included six domains: adequate sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding, incomplete outcome data addressed, free of selective reporting and free of other bias. Each study was independently reviewed by SS and LR and given a judgement of low risk of bias, high risk of bias, or unclear for each domain, along with a description as to why the judgement was made.

 

Measures of treatment effect

In line with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, for dichotomous outcomes, results were expressed as risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). For continuous scales of measurement, the mean difference (MD) was used, or the standardised mean difference (SMD) if different scales were used (Higgins 2009).

 

Unit of analysis issues

All types of randomised controlled trials were included.

In the case of a cross-over trial, data from all periods were included.

 

Dealing with missing data

Where data were missing or unclear, attempts were made to contact the author of the study to obtain the information.

Where we were unable to obtain missing data, assumptions such as assuming normal distribution to use the median value as a mean value were used. Any assumptions made were described with the relevant analysis.

 

Assessment of heterogeneity

Where applicable, meta-analyses were considered for studies that showed sufficient homogeneity in terms of participants, interventions and outcomes. Where appropriate, assessment of heterogeneity between trials was assessed in the meta-analysis by the Chi² test and the I² statistic. Results for each study were expressed as MD with 95% CI and combined for meta-analysis with RevMan software (version 5.0.25) (RevMan 2008).

 

Assessment of reporting biases

Where applicable, it was planned to assess publication bias via a funnel plot of outcomes. These can show publication bias by an asymmetrical output (Higgins 2009). Ultimately, a funnel plot was not carried out in this review due to the very small number of studies included in the statistical analysis.

 

Data synthesis

Meta-analyses were planned where appropriate data were available. Ultimately, no studies were entered into meta-analyses due to the lack of compatible data from the different studies. If meta-analyses had been completed, many assumptions would have had to be made due to the poor levels of reporting.

 

Subgroup analysis and investigation of heterogeneity

No subgroup analyses were pre-planned.

 

Sensitivity analysis

If sufficient high quality trials were available, sensitivity analysis was planned to determine the robustness of the review findings.

 

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms
 

Description of studies

 

Results of the search

See Figure 1.

 FigureFigure 1. Study flow diagram.

For this update there was one additional study identified from the Specialised Register and 194 records from CENTRAL. Following screening of titles one additional study was identified for possible inclusion (Mosti 2011).

 

Included studies

(See also the Characteristics of included studies tables)

A total of nine reports of seven studies were included. The seven included studies were published between 1980 and 2001 and in total involved 356 participants with varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration. All the studies were set in Europe: five of the seven studies were in the United Kingdom (Anderson 1990; Chant 1985; Chant 1989; Coughlin 2001; Jones 1980), the study by (Jungbeck 1997) was set in Sweden, and the study by (Chauveau 2000) was set in France. All included studies were randomised controlled trials but three had a cross-over design (Anderson 1990; Chauveau 2000; Jones 1980).

 

Types of participants

All participants were diagnosed with primary varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration as specified in the inclusion criteria. None of the studies used the CEAP classification; mostly this was because they were conducted prior to the development of the classification. The studies varied in the amount of detail provided to describe their exclusion and inclusion criteria, from providing no detail at all to being very specific.

In six of the studies all participants had varicose veins and were randomised into different groups either to compare types of stocking or different pressures, or to compare wearing stockings versus not wearing stockings. Only one trial (Jones 1980) included other groups of participants who were not diagnosed with varicose veins. This trial was included because the groups were clearly distinguished at entry and in the results, so those participants with varicose veins could be identified for inclusion in our analyses.

Four of the studies recruited patients from surgical waiting lists (Anderson 1990; Chant 1985; Chant 1989; Jones 1980), two from outpatient departments (Chauveau 2000; Jungbeck 1997) and one from a maternity setting as they were pregnant (Coughlin 2001). All included participants were outpatients.

Five of the studies included both men and women; the other two included only female participants (Chauveau 2000; Coughlin 2001), one because the study was on pregnant women. Only two of the studies stated the numbers of male and female participants (Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997), with the others stating that randomised groups were evenly matched for sex. In the two studies where the participants' sex was stated, there were more women (87) than men (10), possibly reflecting a greater prevalence of symptomatic varicose veins in women or that women seek medical help for varicose veins more readily than men. The age range also varied between studies. Some studies did not specify age (Chant 1985; Chant 1989; Coughlin 2001; Jones 1980) and in the others the age ranged from 20 to 82 years, with mean ages of 40 years (Anderson 1990) and 52 years (Chauveau 2000) in two of the studies.

 

Interventions

Five of the studies used knee length graduated compression stockings (Chant 1985; Chant 1989; Chauveau 2000; Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997). Coughlin 2001 used compression tights and Anderson 1990 used full length stockings. Anderson 1990 also used other treatments in the trial, including Paroven and a placebo tablet. This trial assessed the effect of compression stockings and Paroven, alone and in combination, and the groups were identifiable for analyses. A majority of the other studies assessed one type or pressure of stocking against another (Chant 1985; Chant 1989; Chauveau 2000; Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997), or both. Only one study (Coughlin 2001) randomised participants to wear one type of compression tights or not and then followed up participants to assess compliance.

The following compression stockings or tights were used in the studies: class 1 compression tights (Coughlin 2001), full length hosiery giving a pressure of 30 to 40 mm Hg at the ankle (Anderson 1990), Sigvaris stockings giving a pressure of 30 to 40 mmHg at the ankle or 40 to 50 mmHg at the ankle (Chant 1985), an Eesiness NHS two-way stocking (20 mmHg at the ankle) and Sigvaris medium stocking (30 to 40 mmHg at the ankle) (Jones 1980), French class 1 (10 to 15 mmHg) and French class 2 (15 to 20 mmHg) below-knee stockings (Chauveau 2000), Jobst Medical Leg wear knee-hi class 1 (20 mmHg at the ankle) and Jobst Medical Leg wear knee-hi class 2 (30 mmHg at the ankle) (Jungbeck 1997), and Sigvaris and Medi Plus support hose (Chant 1989). Some of the studies did not provide the amount of pressure provided by the hosiery or the class of stocking. It was therefore difficult to make comparisons between the types of stocking.

 

Outcomes

Some studies assessed more than one outcome.

Four of the included studies used the change in symptoms as an outcome measure (Anderson 1990; Chant 1985; Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997). Two of these used a visual analogue scale (VAS) to determine change in symptoms before and after wearing stockings (Anderson 1990; Jungbeck 1997). Only Anderson 1990 reported the results of the VAS at the level of individual symptoms. Jungbeck 1997 grouped all symptoms together and reported the results before and after intervention for the two different classes of stocking used in the trial. The other two studies used self-reporting of symptoms as their outcome measure (Chant 1985; Jones 1980). Although Jones 1980 reported on symptoms, it was not the study's primary outcome and no data were reported, just a line stating "patients with varicose veins were relieved of aching symptoms by both sorts of stocking". Chant 1985 stated the number of participants in each stocking group who reported an improvement in symptoms, as well as the number of participants that were removed from the surgical waiting list.

Three studies reported the change in physiological measures (Chauveau 2000; Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997). Jungbeck 1997 and Jones 1980 used foot volumetry before and after wearing stockings. Chauveau 2000 used air plethysmography to look for a tourniquet effect of stockings.

The only study to assess complications of wearing compression stockings as their main outcome was Chauveau 2000. This study determined whether below-knee stockings (class 1 (10 to 15 mmHg) and class 2 (15 to 20 mmHg)) impeded venous return by a tourniquet effect using air plethysmography with venous occlusion. Anderson 1990 described side effects of headache, abdominal pain and nausea, which occurred throughout the trial, but these could have been caused by the other interventions that were given, which included Paroven and a placebo tablet. Chant 1989 assessed compliance with compression stockings and also recorded the reasons why participants did not wear them. These included "caused irritation", which affected four of the 40 participants. No trials revealed severe side effects.

Two studies assessed the outcome measure of compliance (Chant 1989; Coughlin 2001). Coughlin 2001 investigated the acceptability and usage of compression tights in pregnant women at various time points up to six weeks post partum via self-reporting by the participants. Chant 1989 assessed the compliance of two different types of stocking (Sigvaris and Medi Plus) by prescribing participants the stockings and then visiting them at home on a random basis, on average six weeks later, to determine whether or not they were wearing the stockings.

No study assessed the outcome measure of quality of life.

 

Length of studies

Studies varied in length from one day (wearing each of the two types of stocking for 15 minutes) (Chauveau 2000) to throughout pregnancy and up to six weeks post partum (Coughlin 2001). For a majority of the studies, it was difficult to tell for how long participants actually wore the stockings, and in his review we used the time period taken at when the assessors reviewed participants. However, this relied on the participants actually wearing the stockings between assessments.

 

Excluded studies

(See also the Characteristics of excluded studies tables)

For this update one additional study (Mosti 2011) was identified for possible inclusion and subsequently excluded.

In total forty-three articles of 40 studies were identified as excluded, some for more than one reason. Seventeen of the articles included participants who had a surgical intervention or sclerotherapy, either as a randomised alternative to stockings or as an initial treatment prior to adjuvant therapy with compression (Abramowitz 1973; Biswas 2007; Bond 1997; Bond 1999; Hamel-Desnos 2008; Hamel-Desnos 2010; Houtermans-Auckel 2009; Isiklar 2003; Kline 1972; Makin 1982; Mariani 2011; Melrose 1979; Mosti 2009; O'Hare 2010; Perhoniemi 1983; Raraty 1999; Weiss 1999). Of the 40 excluded studies, 15 were not randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (Acsady 1996; Hirai 2002; Horvath 1983; Ibegbuna 1997; Isiklar 2003; Kakkos 2001; Kline 1972; Lascasas 2009; Leon 1993; Mauss 1969; Norgren 1988; Pierson 1983; Raju 2007; Szendro 1992; Zhang 2004). Six of the articles (Austrell 1995; Derman 1989; Guest 2003; Rabe 2010; Schul 2009; Thaler 2001) did not include participants with diagnosed varicose veins at recruitment; generally, the participants in these articles were either healthy or were diagnosed with other forms of venous disease, such as ulceration. Some of the excluded articles did not use hosiery as their method of compression, Griffin 2007 and Kakkos 2001 used pneumatic compression as their intervention, and Acsady 1996 did not use compression at all.

The study by Benigni 2003 would have met the inclusion criteria of this review but the trial included participants with CEAP classification C1 to 3. The author was contacted but reported no subgroup analysis of participants with a CEAP classification of C2 or above. Therefore, this study had to be excluded. This was the same for the study by Gandhi 1984 in which participants included people with varicose veins and clinical gravitational disease. Those with varicose veins could not be separated in the results, thereby precluding inclusion of the study in this review. The final study which could potentially have been included was by Mosti 2011. However, this study included participants with CEAP classification C2 to C5 and no subgroup analysis of participants with a CEAP classification of C2 to C4 was reported. The study author was contacted to see if this analysis had been undertaken, but no reply was received.

 

Risk of bias in included studies

See also 'Risk of bias' tables and Figure 2

 FigureFigure 2. Methodological quality summary: review authors' judgements about each methodological quality item for each included study.

 

Allocation

None of the included studies described the allocation sequence or the concealment of allocation sufficiently to make a clear judgement and were therefore marked as 'unclear'.

Only the study by Chant 1985 described how allocation was decided: "Patients were selected sequentially from a surgical waiting list, starting with those added most recently". However, no other information on the type of sequence or how the sequence was produced was provided and, therefore, it was unclear as to whether it was adequate or not.

 

Blinding

It is difficult to blind participants when using compression stockings as an intervention. It is obvious to the participant whether they are wearing a compression stocking or not. It is likely that it was for this reason that blinding of the participants was rarely stated in the studies. If a study compared different types of stocking, blinding of the participants was not assumed unless stated. If a study used only one type and pressure of stocking, and participants had been randomised to wear or not wear stockings, it was assumed that the participants were not blinded.

Only one study stated that the participants were assessed blind (Chant 1985). However, the study did not state whether participants were also blinded, and as participants were randomised to two different pressures of stocking it cannot be assumed that they were or were not blinded. In all other included studies there was no discussion around blinding and, therefore, all the studies were marked as unclear.

 

Incomplete outcome data

For nearly all of the included studies there were insufficient data available to make a low or high risk of bias judgement on the completeness of outcome data. Therefore, six out of the seven included studies were marked as unclear. In some of the studies, although reasons for drop-outs or withdrawals were given, it was not possible to tell from the results whether all participants were included or had completed the course of treatment. For example, in the studies by Chauveau 2000 and Anderson 1990 the results tables provided mean measures, not permitting the reader to tell if all participants' results were included.

The only study that allowed the reader to determine that all outcome data were accounted for was Chant 1989. This study provided results for the outcome compliance by providing the actual number of participants who were wearing stockings after six weeks. Data for this outcome were complete.

 

Selective reporting

None of the included studies provided sufficient information to permit a low or high risk of bias judgement on selective reporting and were therefore classed as unclear. None of the study protocols were available and text reporting pre-specified outcomes was not clear.

 

Other potential sources of bias

All studies were marked as unclear. Although none appeared to have major risks of bias, due to insufficient reporting there was not enough information to permit a judgement of low risk of bias. Nearly all the included studies gave acknowledgement to companies providing stockings: Chant 1985 thanked Sigvaris Company; Jones 1980 thanked Ganzoni and Cie AG, Switzerland; Anderson 1990 thanked Zyma (UK) and Ganzoni (Switzerland) for providing Sigvaris stockings, Paroven and placebo capsules; and Jungbeck 1997 thanked Beiersdorf for supplying stockings and their contribution to the study.

The participants in Chant 1989 were prescribed stockings tailored to their degree of venous insufficiency, which could mean people were given different types and pressures of stocking. This may have had an impact on their compliance. In studies by Chant 1985 and Coughlin 2001, there were high drop-out rates following the initial prescription of stockings (33% and 32% respectively), which may have affected the results.

All the included studies were relatively small. The largest study (Chant 1985) included only 104 participants. Two studies (Chauveau 2000; Jones 1980) had very small numbers of participants with varicose veins (both n = 10).

 

Effects of interventions

The main objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness of compression stockings in the initial treatment of varicose veins in individuals without venous ulceration. Seven studies assessed effectiveness using one or more of the pre-specified outcomes for this review.

 

Primary outcomes

 

Change in symptoms

Four studies assessed this outcome (Anderson 1990; Chant 1985; Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997). Two used a visual analogue scale (VAS) to report and evaluate symptoms including pain, ankle swelling, tired legs, restless legs, night cramps, heaviness, itching and distress from the cosmetic appearance. One study combined their results, providing only a median percentage change in all symptoms before and after wearing stockings (Jungbeck 1997), while the other study provided VAS results for change in each of the individual symptoms using means and standard errors (Anderson 1990). The other two studies (Chant 1985; Jones 1980) used self-reporting of symptoms and gave a more general result as to whether symptoms had improved or not at different time points in each study. No objective measure was used. Therefore, the results of the studies could not be combined. Individually, all studies reported a subjective improvement in symptoms by the end of the trial, but these were not analysed comparing the two randomised arms of the trials and were therefore subject to bias.

Jungbeck 1997 provided limited reporting of symptom change (all subjective symptoms) combined in participants wearing class 1 (20 mmHg) versus class 2 (30 mmHg) stockings. Results were given as patients' assessments of subjective symptoms expressed as median of VAS (in per cent). For class 1 stockings, there was a reduction of 28.2%, and for class 2 stockings there was a reduction of 31.3%. There was no significant difference between the two groups.

Anderson 1990 found no statistically significant differences in VAS scores after any of the four treatments. However, the use of Paroven and compression hosiery on their own appeared to reduce symptoms more than the placebo, as seen in the VAS scores. For example, for the symptom of swelling the mean VAS score for the placebo was 35.3; the mean score for hosiery plus placebo was 28.2; the mean score for Paroven was 31.5; and the mean score for hosiery plus Paroven was 32.4. These observed improvements were true for all symptoms with the exception of distress from cosmetic appearance.

Chant 1985 provided limited information and data, reporting only the number of participants who experienced improved symptoms with wearing 30 to 40 mmHg stockings (42 out of 53 participants) and 40 to 50 mmHg stockings (40 out of 51 participants).

Jones 1980 provided no data for changes in symptoms comparing the different intervention groups of the trial.

 

Physiological measures

Three studies assessed this outcome (Chauveau 2000; Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997).

Two studies used foot volumetry to measure expelled volume (EV), the relative expelled volume related to 100 ml of foot volume (EVR or EVrel), rate of refilling of the foot after exercise (Q), and the quotient combining both aspects of functional assessment (Q/EVR or Q/EVrel). This quotient is a measure of the blood expelled by the musculovenous pump in the leg and the prevention of reflux by venous valves, both of which are important for the prevention of varicose veins. Other measures were taken but only these four were consistent between the two studies (Jones 1980; Jungbeck 1997). Both studies investigated differences between stockings providing 20 mmHg pressure and those providing 30 to 40 mmHg pressure. One study was a cross-over trial (Jones 1980) where participants wore each type of stocking for three weeks, with a week of not wearing stockings in between. The other trial (Jungbeck 1997) was a parallel group study, where participants were randomised to one of two different types of stocking for eight weeks. Because there were only two studies that assessed these measures, and they were of different methodology, it was decided not to combine them in a comparison table or meta-analysis. Both studies also had poor levels of reporting: Jungbeck 1997 used only medians (and 95% confidence intervals (CI)) to report initial values and values at eight weeks for both class 1 (20 mmHg) and class 2 (30 mmHg) stockings. The results in Jones 1980 required the reader to read values off a graph for each physiological measure. These results would have to be used very cautiously if a meta-analysis had been produced.

Jones 1980 reported in their varicose vein group (n = 10) an improved performance for EV (20% (20 mmHg) and 8% (30 to 40 mmHg)), EVR (30% and 15%), Q (50% and 20%) and Q/EVR (20% and 35%) compared with the baseline values. Jungbeck 1997 reported significant improvement in EV and EVrel after wearing class 1 (20 mmHg) stockings for eight weeks compared with the baseline values (EV: baseline median 12.4, 95% CI 10.5 to 12.7 versus median 14.7, 95% CI 12.8 to 16.4, P < 0.05; EVrel: median 1.09, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.23 versus median 1.38, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.56, P < 0.01). Jungbeck 1997 reported no significant differences for Q and Q/EVrel or for EV, EVrel, Q and Q/EVrel in class 2 (30 mmHg) stockings.

One study used air plethysmography to measure arterial inflow (AI), venous volume (V50) and maximum venous outflow (MVO) as part of the assessment for a tourniquet effect whilst wearing stockings (Chauveau 2000). No significant changes were found in any of these measures whilst wearing class 1 (10 to 15 mmHg) stockings. Significant reductions were found for arterial inflow (mean value of 1.22 mL/s to 0.93 mL/s) and venous volume (98 mL to 80 mL) whilst wearing class 2 (15 to 20 mmHg) stockings. However, this study was not designed to compare the effectiveness of the stocking.

 

Secondary outcomes

 

Complications

Only one small study (n = 10) assessed this as a main outcome (Chauveau 2000). Two different pressures of stocking (class 1 (10 to 15 mmHg) and class 2 (15 to 20 mmHg)) were tested to assess if there was any difference in producing a tourniquet effect whilst they were being worn. A tourniquet effect is a possible side effect of wearing compression stockings, which could impede venous return (Chauveau 2000). For people who already suffer from arteriopathy such a side effect could potentially lead to ischaemia of the surrounding tissues. No tourniquet effect of class 1 or 2 below-knee stockings was found.

Two other studies reported on side effects. Anderson 1990 reported the side effects of abdominal pain, headache and nausea; however this was a four-arm cross-over trial that also included taking Paroven and a placebo tablet, which may have caused the reported side effects. The study reported that the side effects were similar in all four arms and none were severe or long lasting, but no results were presented. In Coughlin 2001, in which compliance was the main outcome, irritation was given as a reason why some participants stopped wearing stockings but no information regarding the severity was given. The authors stated that abdomen size was likely to be the cause of the discomfort because the participants were pregnant women and compression tights were provided as the intervention.

 

Compliance

Two studies reported on compliance (Chant 1989; Coughlin 2001).

Both studies had a high initial drop-out rate. In Coughlin 2001, 33% of participants (pregnant women with varicose veins) did not want to take part in the study once randomised to wearing compression tights. In Chant 1989, 30% of randomised participants (22 out of 66 patients wanting symptomatic relief of varicose veins prior to elective surgery for the condition) did not collect the compression stockings they were randomised to.

Compliance was assessed differently in the two trials, with Coughlin 2001 relying on self-reports from the women as to when they stopped wearing the tights. As their pregnancies progressed, increasing numbers of women rejected the compression tights: 7 women wore them up to 20 weeks, 4 to 28 weeks, 14 to 34 weeks, 2 to term and 4 to 6 weeks post partum. No statistical calculations were performed. Chant 1989 completed random visits to participants' houses approximately six weeks after the stockings had been prescribed to assess whether participants were wearing the stockings. Overall compliance with treatment for the 66 patients entered into the trial was 32%. Both studies found a general low compliance, but in the study by Chant 1989 neither type of stocking studied produced significantly more or less compliance than the other (Chi2 = 1.70). Generally, non-compliance appeared to be greatest when the hosiery was initially prescribed, and reasons given by participants for not wearing them included discomfort, application, appearance, not effective and that they caused irritation. Coughlin 2001 concluded that tights were unacceptable in pregnant women due to their abdominal size. Meta-analysis was not carried out because of the described differences in compliance assessments between the studies.

 

Quality of life

No studies assessed or reported on this outcome directly.

All the included studies had an insufficient level of reporting and relatively small sample sizes. Therefore this review is unable to make comment with regards to the effect of compression stockings for varicose veins in people without healed or active venous ulceration for the outcomes assessed: change in symptoms, change in physiological measures, complications, compliance and quality of life.

 

Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms
 

Summary of main results

This review has summarised the evidence for the use of graduated compression hosiery or stockings for the treatment of primary varicose veins in patients without venous ulceration. Of the 79 articles identified, only seven studies were eventually included, with a total of 356 participants with varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration. All but one of the outcomes of the review (quality of life) were assessed in one or more of the included studies. No severe or long lasting side effects were noted.

Subjectively, participants' symptoms and physiological measures improved in all of the studies that assessed these outcomes when stockings were worn, but these assessments were not made by comparing one randomised arm of the trial with a control arm, and so are subject to bias. No conclusions regarding the optimum length of compression stocking can be made as there were no conclusive results from the included studies. Conclusions from individual studies regarding the optimum pressure provided by stockings are conflicting, although the results of one study (Jungbeck 1997) suggest that lower pressured stockings (20 mmHg) may be as effective for relieving symptoms as higher pressured stockings (30 to 40 mmHg).

 

Overall completeness and applicability of evidence

No studies assessed symptom change when wearing stockings compared to not wearing stockings. All the studies that assessed the outcome of symptom change included participants in whom two different types of stocking were compared. There is insufficient, high quality evidence to determine whether or not compression stockings are effective in the sole and initial treatment of varicose veins in people without healed or active venous ulceration or whether any type of stocking is superior to any other type. To answer the objective of this review, adequately powered trials that compare wearing stockings versus not wearing stockings would be required. Only one included study randomised participants to wearing hosiery or not wearing hosiery (Coughlin 2001). However, there were no data for the group that did not wear hosiery and the outcome of this study was compliance in pregnant women, not improvement of symptoms or physiological measures.

Although all the participants were diagnosed with varicose veins, as stated in the inclusion criteria, there was some variation in the type of participant. One study included only pregnant women, whilst other studies included participants who were on surgical waiting lists. Such groups of participants may bias towards participants who have sought medical intervention for their varicose veins.

The lack of conclusive results from this review means that its potential impact on clinical practice is very limited. Current clinical practice varies internationally. In the UK, compression stockings are often given as a first line of treatment and management for varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration. Although stockings are generally not found to completely reverse or eradicate the disease, observational findings (as mentioned in this review) suggest that they may subjectively improve symptoms. However, as other treatments that could help remove varicose veins completely and improve cosmetic appearance become more viable and common in everyday practice patients may prefer these to wearing compression stockings for long periods of time. Compression stockings may remain important options for the elderly and those at risk from or not wanting a surgical or invasive procedure. They are also a cheap treatment with very few side effects, so some health professionals may still see them as the most efficient treatment in the first instance; the health professionals need to remember that initial compliance remains an issue though.

 

Quality of the evidence

Only seven studies with a total of 356 participants with varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration were included in this review. Studies varied in sample size from 10 to 104. However, even the largest study was still relatively small. The methodological quality for included studies was unclear as inadequate reporting did not permitting a low risk or high risk of bias judgement (see 'Risk of bias' tables and Figure 2). This, combined with the small sample sizes, means the included studies were graded as relatively poor quality. Not all included studies assessed the same outcomes. Compliance generally appeared to be poor in the studies that assessed this outcome. The greatest number of drop-outs appeared to be when the hosiery was initially prescribed.

The included studies were conducted between nine and 30 years ago. The age of some studies is likely to be the cause of the inadequate reporting. The current standard for reporting clinical trials, the CONSORT statement, was not developed until 1996 and earlier studies did not have such specific guidelines. This made it difficult to assess the risk of bias for the included studies, all of which had inadequate reporting. A judgement of low risk or high risk of bias could not be given to items that were not described, as they may have taken place but were not reported. This led to most of the items for each of the studies being judged as unclear in the risk of bias tables.

 

Potential biases in the review process

This review followed a structured protocol that had been agreed by the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Disease Group. At least two authors were involved in selecting relevant studies, assessing trial quality and extracting data.

Where necessary, authors were contacted to gather further information. Not all the authors replied, meaning these studies had to be excluded as it was not clear if participants met the inclusion criteria or not. However, relevant data may have been missed by excluding these studies, if participants did actually meet the inclusion criteria, leading to bias. Only by receiving a reply from the author could this be resolved.

Statistical analyses in the form of meta-analyses were not performed for any outcome. This was primarily due to the poor levels of reporting of the data from the included trials.

 

Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews

A recent systematic review by Palfreyman 2009 examined the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of compression hosiery in the treatment of varicose veins. The review included 25 studies, including RCTs, systematic reviews, non-randomised studies and guidelines. This review also found methodological flaws in the included studies and came to the conclusion that the evidence for the benefit of compression hosiery for varicose veins was equivocal. No conclusion regarding the class or length of compression hosiery for effective management of varicose veins was made. Therefore, the results of the present systematic review would appear to agree with the review by Palfreyman 2009. They do state, however, that the incorrect application of compression hosiery can have serious consequences, including necrosis. This review did not find any evidence to support or disagree with this statement. Even though the outcomes and methods of this review were slightly different to Palfreyman 2009, the results show that more research is required in this area, especially a large scale RCT. Currently the quality of evidence that is available does not permit a conclusive result.

Consensus papers, such as that by Partsch 2008, have shown the efficacy of compression therapy in phlebologic treatments. However, the present Cochrane review only looked at compression stockings for initial treatment of varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration and not at the use of compression stockings in other situations, such as the use of stockings after varicose vein surgery or in combination with other varicose vein treatments, or other situations in which compression stockings are used. Although other Cochrane reviews have assessed the topic of varicose veins and compression therapy, no Cochrane review on this specific title has been produced previously.

There also appears to be a lack of current research investigating the effects of compression hosiery on varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration. Therefore, although some trials do suggest a subjective improvement in symptoms, no statistically significant results are available either to support the use of compression hosiery or to show which level of compression or length is most effective.

 

Authors' conclusions

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

 

Implications for practice

From this review, there is insufficient, high quality evidence to determine whether or not compression hosiery or stockings are effective in the sole and initial treatment of varicose veins without healed or active venous ulceration or whether any type of stockings is superior to any other type. This could be because there was insufficient evidence available and the studies that were included had poor levels of reporting. However, where symptoms were assessed, many studies appeared to show a subjective improvement in participants wearing stockings but these assessments were not made by comparing one randomised arm of a trial with a control arm, and therefore are subject to bias. To provide hard evidence as to whether compression stockings are effective in the initial treatment and management of varicose veins in people without healed or active venous ulceration, a large scale RCT needs to be completed. Until this is done, no evidence-based implications for practice can be made.

Compliance with compression stockings appears to be initially poor when they are prescribed, with relatively high drop-out rates (around 30% from the two trials that assessed this outcome). However, it could also be suggested that a compliance rate in the long term of around 70% is relatively good for a treatment, but this is only relying upon the subjective evidence from the two small studies included in this review.

No severe or long lasting side effects were found in this review. However, stockings can have adverse effects if incorrectly applied or used in patients with peripheral vascular disease, and those fitting them should have received appropriate training.

 
Implications for research

During this review, no high quality studies were found assessing the effectiveness of compression hosiery or stockings in treating varicose veins compared to a control group (either with no treatment or with a placebo or non-compression stockings). This made it difficult to answer the specific research question. Many of the included studies compared pressures or makes of stocking, which therefore makes the assumption that some kind of improvement will be found in wearing stockings. This review could not find any significant evidence to suggest that stockings are effective in the initial treatment of varicose veins in people without healed or active venous ulceration. Therefore, a large scale, good quality RCT is required on this topic.

The reporting of all the included studies in this review was insufficient. Therefore, future research in this subject area should use up to date reporting guidelines such as CONSORT.

If significant evidence is found that suggests compression stockings are effective in the initial treatment and management of varicose veins in people without healed or active venous ulceration, trials into which is the optimum pressure and length of stocking to use would help guide clinical practice. It may also help standardise the classification of compression hosiery, making provision of stockings easier for healthcare professionals.

 

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

Editorial staff at the Peripheral Vascular Disease Group
Professor G Fowkes for his advice and guidance
Professor G Murray for his statistical input

 

Data and analyses

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

This review has no analyses.

 

Appendices

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms
 

Appendix 1. CENTRAL search strategy

 


#1MeSH descriptor: [Varicose Veins] explode all trees768

#2varicos*1224

#3(tortu* near/3 (vein* or veno* or saphenous))19

#4(incomp* near/3 (vein* or veno* or saphenous or valv*))144

#5(insuffic* near/3 (vein* or veno* or saphenous))742

#6((saphenous or vein* or veno*) near/3 reflux)105

#7(dilated near/3 (vein* or veno* or saphenous))33

#8MeSH descriptor: [Saphenous Vein] explode all trees554

#9GSV80

#10MeSH descriptor: [Venous Insufficiency] explode all trees355

#11(#1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5 or #6 or #8 or #9 or #10)2213

#12MeSH descriptor: [Bandages] explode all trees2047

#13stocking* or hosier* or tight* or sock* or bandag*:ti,ab,kw (Word variations have been searched)3858

#14jobst or surepress or activa or kendall or elbeo or levante or lloveras or cette or sigvaris or solidea or medilast or VenoTrain* or Soleg* or Ulcertec or ComfortPro or Comfort-Pro or "Ulcer Kit":ti,ab,kw (Word variations have been searched)144

#15#12 or #13 or #144342

#16#11 and #15 in Trials321

#17sr-pvd9869

#18#16 not #17194



 

What's new

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

Last assessed as up-to-date: 20 August 2013.


DateEventDescription

14 October 2013New citation required but conclusions have not changedSearches rerun, one new excluded study identified. Review updated accordingly, minor copy edits made. Conclusions not changed

14 October 2013New search has been performedSearches rerun, one new excluded study.



 

Contributions of authors

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

Sarah Shingler (SS) selected relevant trials, assessed trial quality, extracted data, carried out statistical analyses and wrote the review.
Lindsay Robertson (LR) selected relevant trials, assessed trial quality and extracted data.
Sheila Boghossian (SB) was consulted where disagreements occurred and checked data for accuracy.
Marlene Stewart (MS) was consulted for advice regarding the review process and contributed to the writing of the review.

 

Declarations of interest

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

None known

 

Sources of support

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms
 

Internal sources

  • No sources of support supplied

 

External sources

  • Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health Directorates, The Scottish Government, UK.
    The PVD Group editorial base is supported by the Chief Scientst Office.

 

Differences between protocol and review

  1. Top of page
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Authors' conclusions
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Data and analyses
  10. Appendices
  11. What's new
  12. Contributions of authors
  13. Declarations of interest
  14. Sources of support
  15. Differences between protocol and review
  16. Index terms

In order to reflect the objective of this review more closely, the title of this review was changed from 'Compression stockings for varicose veins' to 'Compression stockings for the initial treatment of varicose veins in patients without venous ulceration'.

* Indicates the major publication for the study

References

References to studies included in this review

  1. Top of page
  2. AbstractRésumé scientifique
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Differences between protocol and review
  17. Characteristics of studies
  18. References to studies included in this review
  19. References to studies excluded from this review
  20. References to ongoing studies
  21. Additional references
  22. References to other published versions of this review
Anderson 1990 {published data only}
  • Anderson JH, Geraghty JG, Wilson YT, Murray GD, McArdle CS, Anderson JR. Paroven and graduated compression hosiery for superficial venous insufficiency. Phlebology 1990;5:271-6.
  • Geraghty JC, Anderson JH, Wilson Y, McArdle CS, Anderson JR. A prospective randomised study to determine the efficacy of O-(b-hydroxyethyl)-rutosides and graduated compression hosiery in controlling varicose vein symptoms. Phlébologie 1989;2(s.316):881-3.
Chant 1985 {published data only}
Chant 1989 {published data only}
  • Chant ADB, Davies LJ, Pike JM, Sparks MJ. Support stockings in practical management of varicose veins. Phlebology 1989;4:167-9.
Chauveau 2000 {published data only}
Coughlin 2001 {published data only}
  • Coughlin LB, Gandy R, Rosser S, de Cossart L. Pregnancy and compression tights for varicose veins: a randomised trial. Phlebology 2001; Vol. 16, issue 1:47.
Jones 1980 {published data only}
  • Jones NA, Webb PJ, Rees RI, Kakkar VV. A physiological study of elastic compression stockings in venous disorders of the leg. British Journal of Surgery 1980;67(8):569-72.
  • Kakkar VV. A physiological study of elastic compression stockings in venous disorders of the leg. Phlébologie 1982;35(1):101-6.
Jungbeck 1997 {published data only}
  • Jungbeck C, Thulin I, Darenheim C, Norgren L. Graduated compression treatment in patients with chronic venous insufficiency: A study comparing low and medium grade compression stockings. Phlebology 1997;12(4):142-5.

References to studies excluded from this review

  1. Top of page
  2. AbstractRésumé scientifique
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Differences between protocol and review
  17. Characteristics of studies
  18. References to studies included in this review
  19. References to studies excluded from this review
  20. References to ongoing studies
  21. Additional references
  22. References to other published versions of this review
Abramowitz 1973 {published data only}
Acsady 1996 {published data only}
  • Acsady G, Laczko A, Takacs A, Nemes A. Clinical experiences with detralex treatment of oedemas after varicectomy. International Angiology 1996; Vol. 15 Suppl 1, issue 2:3.
Austrell 1995 {published data only}
  • Austrell C, Thulin I, Norgren L. The effects of long term graduated compression treatment on venous function during pregnancy. Phlébologie 1995;1(1.3):643-6.
Benigni 2003 {published data only}
  • Benigni JP, Sadoun S, Allaert FA, Vin F. Efficacy of Class 1 elastic compression stockings in the early stages of chronic venous disease. A comparative study. International Angiology 2003;22(4):383-92.
Biswas 2007 {published data only}
  • Biswas S, Clark A, Shields DA. Randomised clinical trial of the duration of compression therapy after varicose vein surgery. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2007;33(5):631-7.
Bond 1997 {published data only}
  • Bond R, Crocker G, Wilkins DC, Walker AJ, Ashley S. A prospective randomised trial to study patient acceptance of different compression dressings used in the postoperative management of varicose veins. Phlebology 1997; Vol. 12, issue 4:161.
Bond 1999 {published data only}
  • Bond R, Whyman MR, Wilkins DC, Walker AJ, Ashley S. A randomised trial of different compression dressings following varicose vein surgery. Phlebology 1999;14(1):9-11.
Derman 1989 {published data only}
Gandhi 1984 {published data only}
Griffin 2007 {published data only}
  • Griffin M, Kakkos SK, Geroulakos G, Nicolaides AN. Comparison of three intermittent pneumatic compression systems in patients with varicose veins: a hemodynamic study. International Angiology 2007;26(2):158-64.
  • Griffin M, Kakkos SK, Nicolaides AN. Comparison of three intermittent pneumatic compression systems in patients with varicose veins: a haemodynamic study. Phlebology 2006; Vol. 21, issue 3:154-5.
Guest 2003 {published data only}
  • Guest M, Smith JJ, Tripuraneni G, Howard A, Madden P, Greenhalgh RM, et al. Randomized clinical trial of varicose vein surgery with compression versus compression alone for the treatment of venous ulceration. Phlebology 2003;18(3):130-6.
Hamel-Desnos 2008 {published data only}
  • Hamel-Desnos CM, Guias B, Quehe P, Mesgard A, Desnos P, Ferre B, et al. Foam sclerotherapy of saphenous veins with or without compression stockings. Biological consequences on circulating blood - a controlled randomised study. Phlebology 2008; Vol. 23, issue 5:245-6.
Hamel-Desnos 2010 {published data only}
  • Hamel-Desnos CM, Guias BJ, Desnos PR, Mesgard A. Foam sclerotherapy of the saphenous veins: randomised controlled trial with or without compression. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2010;39(4):500-7.
Hirai 2002 {published data only}
Horvath 1983 {published data only}
Houtermans-Auckel 2009 {published data only}
  • Houtermans-Auckel JP, van Rossum E, Teijink JA, Dahlmans AA, Eussen EF, Nicolai SP, et al. To wear or not to wear compression stockings after varicose vein stripping: a randomised controlled trial. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2009;38(3):387-91.
Ibegbuna 1997 {published data only}
Isiklar 2003 {published data only}
  • Isiklar MH. Hypercompression after microsclerotherapy for venules and telangiectasias. Abstracts of the UIP World Congress Chapter Meeting 2003.
Kakkos 2001 {published data only}
  • Kakkos SK, Szendro G, Griffin M, Sabetai MM, Nicolaides AN. Improved hemodynamic effectiveness and associated clinical correlations of a new intermittent pneumatic compression system in patients with chronic venous insufficiency. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2001;34(5):915-22.
Kline 1972 {published data only}
  • Kline AL, Fegan WG. The use of Coban bandages in compression sclerotherapy. Journal of the Irish Medical Association 1972;65(11):290-3.
Lascasas 2009 {published data only}
  • Porto CL, Milhomens AL, Pires CE, Xavier SS, Sicuro F, Bottino DA, et al. Changes on venous diameter and leg perimeter with different clinical treatments for moderate chronic venous disease: evaluation using Duplex scanning and perimeter measurements. International Angiology 2009;28(3):222-31.
Leon 1993 {published data only}
  • Leon M, Volteas N, Labropoulos N, Kalodiki E, Chan P, Belcaro G, et al. The effect of elastic stockings on the elasticity of varicose veins. International Angiology 1993;12(2):173-7.
Makin 1982 {published data only}
  • Makin GS. Efficacy of compression bandaging. Phlébologie 1982;35(1):117-23.
Mariani 2011 {published data only}
  • Mariani F, Marone EM, Gasbarro V, Bucalossi M, Spelta S, Amsler F, et al. Multicenter randomized trial comparing compression with elastic stocking versus bandage after surgery for varicose veins. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2011;53(1):115-22.
Mauss 1969 {published data only}
  • Mauss HJ. [Essaven treatment of varicose veins in pregnancy]. Medizinische Welt 1969;41:2270-3.
Melrose 1979 {published data only}
Mosti 2009 {published data only}
  • Mosti G, Mattaliano V, Arleo S, Partsch H. Thigh compression after great saphenous surgery is more effective with high pressure. International Angiology 2009;28:274-80.
  • Mosti G, Mattaliano V, Partsch H. Thigh compression with different compression devices after great saphenous vein surgery. Phlebology 2009; Vol. 24:228-9.
Mosti 2011 {published data only}
  • Mosti G, Partsch H. Compression stockings with a negative pressure gradient have a more pronounced effect on venous pumping function than graduated elastic compression stockings. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2011;42(2):261-6.
Norgren 1988 {published data only}
  • Norgren L. Elastic compression stockings - an evaluation with foot volumetry, strain-gauge plethysmography and photoplethylsmography. Acta Chirurgica Scandinavica 1988;154(9):505-7.
O'Hare 2010 {published data only}
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation. A trial to compare the outcome of localised varicosity compression for 24 hours and 5 days after foam fclerotherapy to truncal varices. http://ClinicalTrials.gov/show/NCT00991497 2009.
  • O'Hare JL, Stephens J, Parkin D, Earnshaw JJ. Randomized clinical trial of different bandage regimens after foam sclerotherapy for varicose veins. British Journal of Surgery 2010;97(5):650-6.
Perhoniemi 1983 {published data only}
  • Perhoniemi V, Asp K. (Compression stockings and elastic bandage in the postoperative treatment of varicose veins). Suomen Laakarilehti 1983;38(1-2):31-4.
Pierson 1983 {published data only}
Rabe 2010 {published data only}
  • Rabe E. DAPS-dalteparin in patients with superficial leg vein phlebitis in addition to compression treatment - A placebo-controlled phase III study. Phlebolymphology 2010;17(1):14.
Raju 2007 {published data only}
Raraty 1999 {published data only}
  • Raraty MGT, Greaney MG, Blair SD. There is no benefit from 6 weeks' postoperative compression after varicose vein surgery: A prospective randomised trial. Phlebology 1999;14(1):21-5.
Schul 2009 {published data only}
  • Schul M, Eaton T, Erdman B. Compression therapy versus sclerotherapy for isolated refluxing reticular veins and telangiectasia: results of a randomised trial comparing quality-of-life outcomes. Phlebology 2009; Vol. 24:89.
Szendro 1992 {published data only}
  • Szendro G, Veller M, Fisher C, Christopoulos D, Belcaro G, Clarke H, et al. The effect of elastic compression on the venous tone in patients with varicose veins. VASA 1992;21(2):198-202.
Thaler 2001 {published data only}
  • Thaler E, Huch R, Huch A, Zimmermann R. Compression stockings prophylaxis of emergent varicose veins in pregnancy: a prospective randomised controlled study. Swiss Medical Weekly 2001;131(45-6):659-62.
Weiss 1999 {published data only}
Zhang 2004 {published data only}
  • Zhang H, Lu JJ, Zhang JW, Zhang BG. [The evaluation for the therapeutic effect and the clinical practicability of encircling constriction of superficial femoral vein in the treatment of primary deep venous insufficiency]. [Chinese]. Chung-Hua Wai Ko Tsa Chih [Chinese Journal of Surgery] 2004;42(18):1121-4.

Additional references

  1. Top of page
  2. AbstractRésumé scientifique
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Authors' conclusions
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Data and analyses
  11. Appendices
  12. What's new
  13. Contributions of authors
  14. Declarations of interest
  15. Sources of support
  16. Differences between protocol and review
  17. Characteristics of studies
  18. References to studies included in this review
  19. References to studies excluded from this review
  20. References to ongoing studies
  21. Additional references
  22. References to other published versions of this review
Bamigboye 2007
Beale 2005
Campbell 2006
Clarke 2006
Edwards 2009
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Eklöf 2004
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Golledge 2003
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London 2000
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Padberg 2005
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Rajendran 2007
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Ramelet 2002
RevMan 2008
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Robertson 2008
Tisi 2006
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