• controlled trial;
  • dermatology;
  • ICG;
  • spider leg veins



Telangiectatic leg veins, which affect about 40–50% of adults, represent a frequent cosmetic rather than a medical problem. Besides sclerotherapy, various laser devices are common treatment options. However, complete clearance rates can only be achieved in a small number of patients.


In this proof-of-concept study, the safety and efficacy of indocyanine green (ICG)-augmented diode laser therapy (808 nm) was evaluated for the treatment of telangiectatic leg veins.


ICG (2 mg/kg body weight) was intravenously administered in 15 female patients (skin type II to III) with telangiectatic leg veins (measuring between 0.25 and 3 mm in diameter). Immediately after ICG injection, diode laser pulses with different radiant exposures (50–110 J/cm2) were applied as one single treatment. Safety and efficacy were assessed 1 and 3 months after treatment by a blinded investigator and the patient. Treatments with the pulsed dye laser (PDL) and the diode laser without ICG served as reference therapies.


The safety of ICG application and diode laser treatment was excellent in all patients with no persisting side effects. Vessel clearance was dose-dependent. Diode laser treatment at radiant exposures between 100 and 110 J/cm2 resulted in good vessel clearance, which even improved to excellent after the application of double pulses. Diode laser therapy without ICG and PDL treatment induced poor to moderate clearance of telangiectatic leg veins.


ICG-augmented diode laser therapy has proved to be a safe and effective treatment option for telangiectatic leg veins. Lasers Surg. Med. 44: 369–376, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.