Background: Low-dose (25mg), slow infusion (6hours) of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) with repetition as needed has been shown to provide effective and safer thrombolysis in patients with prosthetic valve thrombosis (PVT). Further prolonging the infusion time may be rational with regard to reducing complication rates without reducing success rates. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of ultraslow (25hours) infusion of low-dose (25mg) alteplase (t-PA) for PVT.
Methods and results: Transesophageal echocardiography-guided thrombolytic therapy (TT) was administered to 114 patients with PVT in 120 different episodes between 2009 and 2013 in a single center. Prosthetic valve thrombosis was obstructive in 77 (64.2%) and nonobstructive in 43 (35.8%) episodes. Ultraslow infusion (25hours) of low-dose (25mg) t-PA, as the TT regimen, was used in all patients admitted with PVT. The end points were thrombolytic success, mortality, and complication rates. The overall success rate of TT was 90% (95% CI 0.85-0.95). The univariate predictors of an unsuccessful result were higher New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, thrombus cross-sectional area, duration of suboptimal anticoagulation, lower baseline valve area, and presence of atrial fibrillation. The NYHA class was the only independent predictor of TT failure by multiple variable analysis. The overall complication rate was 6.7% (3.3% nonfatal major, 2.5% minor, and 0.8% death). The predictors of complications were presence of atrial fibrillation, higher NYHA class, and thrombus area.
Conclusion: Ultraslow (25hours) infusion of low-dose (25mg) t-PA without bolus appears to be associated with quite low nonfatal complications and mortality for PVT patients without loss of effectiveness, except for those with NYHA class IV.
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