Purpose: To evaluate the use of rheolytic thrombectomy (RT) with the AngioJet catheter for treatment of lower extremity ischemia due to arterial/graft thrombotic occlusion.
Methods: A retrospective multicenter review was performed of 99 consecutive patients (52 men; mean age 67 +/- 13 years, range 30-90) who underwent RT for thrombotic occlusions in native arteries (n=80) or bypass grafts (n=19). Pre- and postprocedural limb ischemia and in-hospital events were evaluated. Amputation and mortality rates at 30 days were determined.
Results: The majority of patients (78.8%) presented within 14 days of symptom onset. RT resulted in substantial to complete thrombus removal in 70 (70.7%) patients and partial in 22 (22.2%); there was no angiographic change in 7 (7.1%). Adjunctive post RT thrombolysis was used in 37 patients. Underlying stenoses found in 81 limbs were treated with one or more of the following procedures: balloon angioplasty (n=62), stenting (n=35), or nonemergent surgical revision (n=5). In-hospital complications included 2 major amputations, 5 cases of minor tissue loss, 7 rethromboses, and 3 cases of transient renal insufficiency. Four (4.0% patients died in-hospital; the 95 surviving patients all had viable limbs at discharge. Mortality and amputation rates at 30 days were 7.1% and 4.0%, respectively.
Conclusions: Percutaneous treatment of thrombotic occlusions with RT, followed by definitive treatment of the underlying stenosis, is a promising therapeutic option for patients with limb-threatening ischemia.