Interventional Radiology - Original Article

US-accelerated catheter-directed thrombolysis for the treatment of deep venous thrombosis


  • Mert Dumantepe,
  • Arif Tarhan,
  • İlhan Yurdakul,
  • Azmi Özler

Received Date: 22.08.2012 Accepted Date: 24.09.2012 Diagn Interv Radiol 2013;19(3):251-258


We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of ultrasonography (US)-accelerated catheter-directed thrombolysis for the treatment of deep venous thrombosis.


A total of 26 patients with deep venous thrombosis were prospectively selected for thrombolysis. Overall, 80.8% of the occlusions were in the lower extremities, and 19.2% were in the upper extremities. US-accelerated catheter-directed thrombolysis was performed using a recombinant human tissue plasminogen activator (alteplase), which was delivered using the EKOS EkoSonic® Endovascular System (EKOS Corporation, Bothell, Washington, USA). Postprocedure venography was repeated after the treatment, which included angioplasty and stenting if stenosis was present.


Thrombolysis was successful in 92.3% (24/26) of the patients, with complete clot lysis in 14 patients and partial clot lysis in nine patients. The mean symptom duration was 54.9±51 days (range, 6–183 days), and the mean thrombolysis infusion time was 25.3±5.3 hours (range, 16–39 hours). Pulmonary embolism was not observed; however, there were three cases of bleeding at the catheter insertion site. In three patients, the underlying lesions were successfully treated with balloon angioplasty and stent insertion. Two patients developed early recurrent thrombosis due to residual venous obstruction.


US-accelerated thrombolysis was demonstrated to be a safe and efficacious treatment for deep venous thrombosis in this study. The addition of US reduces the total infusion time and increases the incidence of complete lysis with a reduction in bleeding rates. Residual venous obstruction should be treated by angioplasty and stent insertion to prevent early rethrombosis.