What are the thrombolytic therapy options for deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Dec 31, 2017
  • Author: Wanda L Rivera-Bou, MD, FAAEM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The mainstay of initial treatment for DVT is anticoagulation. Nonetheless, anticoagulation therapy does not actually treat DVT by dissolution of thrombus; instead, it prevents the propagation of the existing acute DVT.

In selected patients with extensive acute proximal DVT (eg, those with iliofemoral DVT, upper-extremity DVT, symptoms of less than 14 days’ duration, good functional status, or a life expectancy exceeding 1 year) whose bleeding risk is low, catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) may be used to reduce symptoms and postthrombotic morbidity if appropriate resources are available. [30, 31]


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