Rheolytic Pharmacomechanical Thrombectomy for the Management of Acute Limb Ischemia: Results From the PEARL Registry

J Endovasc Ther. 2015 Aug;22(4):546-57. doi: 10.1177/1526602815592849. Epub 2015 Jun 24.


Purpose: To present the results of rheolytic pharmacomechanical thrombectomy (PMT) for the management of acute limb ischemia (ALI) as reported in the PEARL Registry (PEripheral Use of AngioJet Rheolytic Thrombectomy with a variety of catheter Lengths).

Methods: A total of 283 patients (mean age 65±13 years; 170 men) presenting with ALI undergoing treatment with the AngioJet System at participating institutions were enrolled in the registry. Rutherford ALI categories included 26% with viable limbs, 38% with marginally threatened limbs, 35% with immediately threatened limbs, and <1% with irreversible damage. Procedure and follow-up data were collected for the calculation of outcomes. To control for patient selection bias, propensity score matching was used to compare outcomes for patients undergoing PMT with or without catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT).

Results: Procedure success was achieved in 235 (83%) of 283 patients. Half of the procedures (147, 52%) were completed without the need for adjunctive CDT. At 12-month follow-up, amputation-free survival and freedom from mortality were 81% and 91%, respectively; 12-month freedom from bleeding requiring transfusion was 91%, and freedom from renal failure was 95%. Subgroup analysis revealed significantly better outcomes in patients without infrapopliteal involvement and those who underwent PMT without CDT. In the matched cohorts, higher rates of procedure success, 12-month amputation-free survival, and 12-month freedom from amputation were observed in the PMT without CDT group (88% vs 74%, p=0.021; 87% vs 72%, p=0.028; 96% vs 81%, p=0.01, respectively).

Conclusions: The results support the use of PMT as a first-line treatment for ALI, providing a rapid reperfusion to the extremity, reduced procedure time, and an acceptable risk profile without compromising limb salvage.

Keywords: AngioJet thrombectomy; acute limb ischemia; amputation; arterial thrombosis; catheter-directed thrombolysis; mechanical thrombectomy; mortality; rheolytic thrombectomy; thrombotic occlusion.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Amputation / statistics & numerical data
  • Angioplasty, Balloon
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / therapy*
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Propensity Score
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Stents
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Access Devices