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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2001 Oct;12(10):1157-65.

Thrombosed hemodialysis grafts: lyse and wait with tissue plasminogen activator or urokinase compared to mechanical thrombolysis with the Arrow-Trerotola Percutaneous Thrombolytic Device.

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  • 1Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA.



To determine if the lyse and wait (L&W) technique with a 4-mg dose of alteplase (tissue plasminogen activator; tPA) is a safe and effective method of declotting dialysis grafts as compared to use of the Arrow-Trerotola Percutaneous Thrombectomy Device (PTD) or the L&W technique with use of urokinase (UK).


Forty patients were randomized prospectively to undergo L&W declotting with use of 4 mg of tPA or mechanical thrombolysis with the PTD. The time interval to restored graft flow, total procedure time, hemostasis time, and anatomic success, clinical success, complications, and patency rates were analyzed. These were compared with historic results in 20 patients treated with the L&W technique with use of 250,000 U UK.


The immediate anatomic success rate was 95% in the tPA L&W and PTD groups. The mean in-room lysis time with restored flow was 10 minutes for L&W with tPA and 19 minutes for PTD (P = .002). The mean in-room procedure time was 39 minutes for L&W and 45 minutes for PTD (P = NS). Mean hemostasis time with use of manual compression was 44 minutes for L&W with tPA and 23 minutes for PTD (P = .057). The historic group of 20 patients who underwent L&W with UK had a 95% anatomic success rate, a mean of 14 minutes of lysis time, a mean of 34 minutes of procedure time, and a mean of 26 minutes of time to hemostasis. No bleeding complications occurred in the PTD group. Seven episodes of bleeding occurred in six patients given tPA; four were delayed 60-90 minutes after the procedure, one necessitated hospitalization, and two required additional therapies. Four of the 20 patients undergoing L&W with UK had minor puncture site bleeding during the procedure. The 3-month primary patency rates were 65%, 65%, and 60% for L&W with tPA, PTD, and L&W with UK, respectively (P = NS).


The 4-mg dose of tPA is effective but results in more bleeding complications and longer hemostasis times than mechanical thrombolysis with use of the PTD. Unlike in our experience with UK, bleeding complications with tPA were both major and delayed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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