Safety and efficacy of limited-dose tissue plasminogen activator in acute vascular occlusion.
OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to evaluate the safety and efficacy of limited-dose tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in patients with acute vascular occlusion and to compare these results with those obtained in equivalent patients receiving urokinase. METHODS: We compared the results of 60 patients receiving catheter-directed urokinase from November 1997 to November 1998 (240,000 units/h x 4 h, 120,000 units/h thereafter for a maximum of 48 h) with those of 45 patients receiving catheter-directed t-PA from November 1998 to August 2000 (2 mg/h, total dose < or =100 mg) for acute arterial occlusion (AAO) and acute venous occlusion (AVO). Interventional approaches such as cross-catheter and coaxial techniques were used to reduce the dose of lytic agent needed to achieve pre-lysis-treatment goals (eg, complete lysis of all thrombus/unmasking graft stenosis or establishing outflow target). Statistical analysis was performed using Student t test and Fisher exact test. RESULTS: The urokinase and t-PA groups were comparable with regard to age, comorbidities (coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, renal insufficiency, smoking), duration of ischemic or occlusive symptoms, location of occlusive process, pretreatment with warfarin, and thrombotic versus embolic and native versus graft occlusion in patients with AAO. In patients with AAO and in those with AVO, t-PA was equivalent to or better than urokinase with regard to percent of clot lysis, incidence of major bleeding complications, limb salvage, and mortality. Achievement of pretreatment goals (arterial patients only) was 50% for urokinase patients and 76% for t-PA patients (P =.02). Analysis of success in individual pretreatment-goal achievement showed urokinase and t-PA to be equivalent in unmasking stenoses (85% and 84%, respectively; P = NS), whereas t-PA was superior to urokinase in the more critical task of establishing run-off (39% versus 81% for urokinase and t-PA, respectively; P =.001). Additional interventions, either endovascular or surgical, were required in 60% and 51% (P = NS) of patients receiving urokinase and t-PA, respectively, for AAO, and in 54% and 62% (P = NS) of patients receiving urokinase and t-PA, respectively, for AVO. CONCLUSIONS: Limited-dose t-PA is a safe and effective therapy for AAO and AVO when administered by experienced teams using innovative but well-established interventional techniques.
Shortell, CK; Queiroz, R; Johansson, M; Waldman, D; Illig, KA; Ouriel, K; Green, RM
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