Massive pulmonary embolism: treatment with the hydrolyser thrombectomy catheter

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2000 Oct;11(9):1159-64. doi: 10.1016/s1051-0443(07)61357-8.


Purpose: To assess the efficacy of clot removal with use of the Hydrolyser thrombectomy catheter in acute massive pulmonary embolism (PE).

Materials and methods: Eleven patients (eight women, three men) with a mean age of 61 (range, 37-79) years with acute massive PE underwent percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy (PMT) with use of the Hydrolyser. In four patients with no contraindication, fibrinolysis was performed with use of urokinase at low doses after thrombectomy.

Results: Ten patients (90.91%) recovered from massive PE and were discharged within 11 days. The Urokinase Pulmonary Embolism Trial angiographic severity indexes (mean +/- SD) were 14.7 +/- 2.6 and 7.5 +/- 2.7, respectively, before and after thrombectomy (P < .001). Partial arterial pressures of O2 increased from 72.8 mm Hg +/- 16.4 to 93.5 mm Hg +/- 5.6 (P < .005). Pulmonary artery pressure decreased from 45.5 mm Hg +/- 14.2 to 29.5 mm Hg +/- 13.6 after thrombectomy (P < .0001). Calculated by semiquantitative computed analysis, PMT with use of the Hydrolyser removed 74.06% of thrombus +/- 13.46%. One patient developed self-limited hemoptysis immediately after thrombectomy. One patient died during the procedure secondary to PE.

Conclusion: PMT with use of the Hydrolyser is effective and safe in massive PE, resulting in improved hemodynamics and blood oxygenation and decreased pulmonary artery pressure. It offers an alternative to fibrinolysis and surgical thrombectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Thrombectomy / instrumentation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / administration & dosage


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator