Objective: To evaluate the role of a combined percutaneous endovascular approach including thrombus aspiration, catheter thrombolysis, and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) to treat acute and subacute occlusions of native leg arteries.
Materials and methods: Retrospective evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of this catheter therapy in 89 consecutive patients (93 legs) in a single centre.
Results: Treatment was initially successful in 90% of legs. Mortality at 30 days was 8%, and at 12 months 19%. Amputation-free survival at 12 months was 78%. Aspiration alone was sufficient in 31% of cases, urokinase (mean dose 112 500+/-55 900 IU) was used in 22%, PTA was added in 69%. There was no major bleeding except for one false aneurysm treated by ultrasound-guided compression. Secondary interventions within 12 months were required in 30% of cases (14 endovascular, 16 open surgical procedures).
Conclusions: Catheter thrombus aspiration in combination with thrombolysis and/or PTA is highly effective. Only in a minority of patients are thrombolytics in modest doses necessary, and serious bleeding complications are rare. We recommend this procedure as first-line treatment for acute or subacute infrainguinal arterial occlusions.
Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.