What are limitations of thrombolytic therapy 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

Despite the known effectiveness of thrombolysis, widespread use of thrombolytics in the treatment of DVT is limited by the long infusion times required and the substantial risk of hemorrhagic complications associated with large doses of these agents.

These limitations have led to the development of adjunctive endovascular techniques for the treatment of DVT, such as ultrasound (US)-accelerated thrombolysis, which involves simultaneous delivery of low-intensity US and a thrombolytic agent into a thrombosed vessel. A multicenter retrospective study demonstrated that US-accelerated thrombolysis had a considerable advantage over CDT alone for the treatment of DVT, with fewer complications, reduced drug doses, and shorter infusion times. [38, 39]


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