The study found that injecting or “lacing” the clot with a fiber-binding thrombolytic agent effectively treats deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and reduces the risk of subsequent recurrence or bleeding.
“This treatment regimen is able to clear blood clots rapidly and safely, restoring blood flow in the veins of the lower leg, and the results are durable,” said lead author Richard Chang, M.D., chief of the interventional radiology section of the Department of Radiology, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md.
DVT is a common and serious health problem in which a blood clot, or thrombus, form in the deep veins, particularly in the lower leg or thigh. Complications occur when the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, resulting in pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition.
Most patients with DVT are treated solely with anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners) and compression stockings. However, studies have shown that one-third of these patients will suffer from post-thrombotic syndrome, characterized by pain, swelling, or in severe cases by changes in skin color or skin ulceration. Another third are likely to have another clot or pulmonary embolism within five years of their initial DVT.
Treatments with thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) therapy could potentially protect against these occurrences, but can pose a bleeding risk. Therefore, Dr. Chang and colleagues sought to develop a safe, effective and affordable thrombolytic treatment regimen for DVT.
Twenty patients with acute DVT were treated with direct intraclot lacing of the thrombus with a clot-dissolving agent called alteplase and full systemic anticoagulation. Alteplase binds to the clot, so the procedure does not require continuous infusion of the drug, as do some thrombolytic therapies. With this treatment, after lacing one vein segment with alteplase, the interventional radiologist can immediately direct catheters to treat other vein segments to ensure that the entire clot has been adequately treated.
The results of the study showed that blood flow was restored throughout the deep venous system in 16 (80 percent) of the 20 patients during therapy with complete resolution of symptoms in 18 patients (90 percent) after six months of anticoagulation. Alteplase was cleared from the patients’ circulatory system within two hours of treatment, reducing the risk of subsequent bleeding.
There were no serious complications or bleeding during the treatment, and no cases of post-thrombotic syndrome or recurrent clotting during follow-up of 3.4 years.
“With this therapy, pain and swelling resolve rapidly, and, in most cases, the patient is able to resume all normal activity within a week,” said the study’s co-author, McDonald K. Horne III, M.D., from the hematology section of the Department of Lab Medicine, Clinical Center, NIH.
The authors caution that larger clinical trials are required to further support the efficacy of this promising treatment.
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences