Bathing dangerous blood clots in special medication, breaking them up
with jets of saline and vacuuming them out of the body is a fast,
effective method of treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT), suggests data
being presented at the 25th annual International Symposium on
Endovascular Therapy (ISET).
Rheolytic pharmacomechanical thrombectomy using combination therapy is
fast and effective, reducing treatment time from more than two days to
less than 24 hours, suggest phase II results of the multi-center PEARL
As many as 600,000 people annually suffer from DVT, or blood clots in
the large veins of the leg or abdomen, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Small pieces of the clot can break
off, travel to the lungs and cause pumonary embolism (PE), which kills
as many as 100,000 people a year.
People with DVT typically are treated with blood thinners. Often this
treatment is only partially effective at removing the clot, which can
cause lifelong pain, swelling and blood flow problems.
"We're on the verge of a truly outpatient procedure for the treatment of
DVT," said Robert Lookstein, M.D., chief of interventional radiology at
Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York. "This is a transformative technology
that will enable more people who are suffering from DVT to have fast,
effective minimally invasive therapy."
In the study, 371 DVT patients were treated at 35 centers; 38 percent of
treatments were completed in less than six hours and 76 percent in less
than 24 hours. After 12 months, 81 percent of people remained free of
DVT. Stents were placed in 116 patients (most in the pelvic arteries) to
correct obstructions and prevent the future formation of clots.
The combination treatment involves giving DVT patients an intravenous
catheter to introduce clot-busting drugs and then blasting the clot with
high-pressure saline solution to break it up. A separate port on the
catheter then vacuums up pieces of the clot and removes them from the
For more about ISET, visit www.ISET.org.
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