Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the angiographic and clinical results of using catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy for the treatment of acute iliofemoral deep venous thrombosis (IFDVT).
Materials and methods: All consecutive patients with acute IFDVT referred for thrombolytic treatment from July 1990 to December 1995 were included in this clinical data analysis. Infusions of urokinase were administered via a multisidehole infusion catheter. Angioplasty, stent placement, mechanical thrombectomy, and other procedures were often performed in conjunction with the thrombolytic procedure.
Results: Seventy-seven patients and 87 limbs were treated. The overall technical success rate was 79%, and was 86% for iliac veins and 63% for femoral veins. The primary and secondary patency rates at 1 year were 63% and 78%, respectively, for the iliac veins, and 40% and 51%, respectively, for the femoral veins. Patients with malignant disease fared worse. Patients requiring stent placement appeared to have inferior outcomes. A previous history of DVT did not appear to affect the results. Bleeding requiring transfusion and hematomas were the major complications encountered. Pulmonary embolus was not a significant problem. Technical success rates were lower in patients who had had symptoms for more than 4 weeks compared to those who had a more recent onset of symptoms.
Conclusion: Current data suggest that catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy is safe and effective in achieving intermediate-term venous Patency. The long-term clinical benefits of this procedure remain, however, to be established.