1Department of Radiology, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Korea. email@example.com 2Department of Radiology, Konkuk University Hospital, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Korea. 3Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Korea.
Published online: December 1, 2011.
PURPOSE: To establish a simple grading method for the severity of an incompetent sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ) using color Doppler ultrasound in patients with lower extremity varicose veins. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 346 legs of 241 consecutive patients with varicose veins were examined (M:F = 96:145, 11-74 years, mean 50 years). The severity of SFJ and sapheno-popliteal (SPJ) incompetence was graded from I to IV according to the patient's position (standing versus supine or prone) and whether the Valsalva's maneuver had been induced. The extent of varicose veins was graded as I to III by the US findings in the SFJ incompetence group. The grading of SFJ incompetence was compared to the extent of varicose vein. RESULTS: SFJ, SPJ, both SFJ and SPJ, and perforator incompetence was observed in 198 (57.2%), 81 (23.4%), 21 (6.1%) and 54 (15.6%), respectively. Among the SFJ incompetence group, severity grade I - IV were observed in 14 (7.1%), 75 (37.9%), 73 (36.9%), and 36 (18.2%), respectively, and the extent grade I - III were noted in 47 (23.7%), 95 (48.0%), and 56 (28.3%), respectively. The SFJ incompetence grade and varicose extent grade showed a positive correlation (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Simple sonographic grading of the severity of SFJ incompetence is possible. The extent of varicose veins in the SFJ incompetence group can be determined using this new grading system.