Catheter-directed thrombolysis for lower extremity deep venous thrombosis: Report of a national multicenter registry

Mark W. Mewissen, Gary R. Seabrook, Mark H. Meissner, Jacob Cynamon, Nicos Labropoulos, Signe H. Haughton

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833 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate catheter-directed thrombolysis for treatment of symptomatic lower extremity deep venous thrombosis (DVT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: From a registry of patients (n = 473) with symptomatic lower limb DVT, results of 312 urokinase infusions in 303 limbs of 287 patients (137 male and 150 female patients; mean age, 47.5 years) were analyzed. DVT symptoms were acute (≤10 days) in 188 (66%) patients, chronic (>10 days) in 45 (16%), and acute and chronic in 54 (19%). A history of DVT existed in 90 (31%). Lysis grades were calculated by using renographic results. RESULTS: Iliofemoral DVT (n = 221 [71%]) and femoral-popliteal DVT (n = 79 [25%]) were treated with urokinase infusions (mean, 7.8 million IU) for a mean of 53.4 hours. After thrombolysis, 99 lilac and five femoral vein lesions were treated with stents. Grade III (complete) lysis was achieved in 96 (31%) infusions; grade II (50%-99% lysis), in 162 (52%); and grade I (<50% lysis), in 54 (17%). For acute thrombosis, grade III lysis occurred in 34% of cases of acute and in 19% of cases of chronic DVT (P<.01). Major bleeding complications occurred in 54 (11%) patients, most often at the puncture site. Six patients (1%) developed pulmonary emboli. Two deaths (<1%) were attributed to pulmonary embolism and intracranial hemorrhage. At i year, the primary patency rate was 60%. Lysis grade was predictive of 1-year patency rate (grade III, 79%; grade II, 58%; grade I, 32%; P < .001). CONCLUSION: Catheter-directed thrombolysIs is safe and effective. These data can guide patient selection for this therapeutic technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Interventional procedures, complications
  • Thrombolysis
  • Veins, extremities
  • Veins, thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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