Catheter-directed thrombolysis for iliofemoral venous thrombosis

C. P. Semba, M. D. Dake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The combination of catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy and endovascular stenting is a new and promising approach for treating acute and chronic thrombotic iliofemoral venous occlusions on the basis of the authors' initial experience in a small group of patients. In acute DVT, catheter-directed techniques provide more complete lysis than systemic infusions and early, aggressive interventional therapy may spare the patient from the life-long disability associated with the postphlebitic syndrome, by preserving valve function and eliminating the venous outflow obstruction. Immediate postthrombolysis venography can evaluate the underlying vein and assess the need for adjunctive treatment with angioplasty and/or stents. Urokinase has a high degree of safely with few complications when a catheter-directed approach rather than systemic infusion is used. Even patients with chronic DVT can benefit by reducing the obstruction to venous outflow if the occlusion is limited to the iliac vein and/or the inferior vena cava. Long- term follow-up studies are necessary to evaluate patency rates of the treated veins, determine whether successfully treated limbs have a lower frequency of recurrent DVT, and ascertain the frequency of chronic venous insufficiency compared with that in patients treated with anticoagulation alone. Based on our initial experience, a National Venous Thrombosis Registry was established in October 1994. The purpose of this multidisciplinary Registry is to prospectively document the long-term results of catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy for patients with iliofemoral DVT, with data now being collected from 40 leading medical centers around the United States. We hope that endovascular techniques for iliofemoral DVT will significantly reduce the immediate and long-term complications commonly associated with this difficult and often misunderstood clinical problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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