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Results of 100 cases of pulse-spray thrombolysis for acute and subacute leg ischaemia

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Background Pulse-spray thrombolysis is a rapid technique for the treatment of limb ischaemia of recent onset. Early results have been published but the longer term results are not known.

Methods This study consisted of a series of 100 legs with acute and subacute ischaemia treated using this method with a follow-up interval of up to 3 years. Eighty-three limbs were classified as Fontaine grade III or IV and 42 had a sensory or motor deficit. Sixty-seven limbs were treated with pulse spray alone and 33 had an additional low-dose infusion. In 71 cases an additional catheter-directed intervention was required.

Results Median duration of lysis was 135 (range 35-1540) min and median dose of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator used was 18 (range 4-61) mg. Complete radiological patency was achieved in 79 limbs and the ankle:brachial pressure index improved from a median of 0 (range 0-0·8) to 0·8 (range 0-1·5) (P<0·0001). At 30 days ten patients had died, eight needed amputation and a further 11 had rethrombosed. Cumulative limb salvage rate at 30 months was 79 per cent (standard error 8) and the estimated cumulative patency rate for successful cases was 72 per cent (standard error 10). The incidence of major bleeding was 7 per cent and of minor bleeding 24 per cent. There were no haemorrhagic strokes but three thrombotic strokes occurred within 30 days of thrombolysis.

Conclusion Pulse-spray thrombolysis achieves rapid and safe revascularization of acute and subacute leg ischaemia.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Vascular Surgery 2: Radiology, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1997

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