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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2004 Jan;15(1 Pt 1):39-44.

Efficacy and safety of reteplase for central venous catheter occlusion in patients with cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Karmanos Cancer Institute/Harper University Hospital, Detroit Medical Center, 3990 John R, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of reteplase for central venous catheter (CVC) occlusion in patients with cancer.


An open-label, single-arm, prospective study was conducted. Reteplase (0.4 U) was instilled into each catheter lumen with a dwell time of 30 minutes in patients with cancer with a dysfunctional CVC. If the function of the catheter was not restored in 30 minutes, an additional dwell time of 30 minutes was allowed (a total of 60 minutes possible dwell time for the first dose). A second dose was repeated at 60 minutes after the first dose if catheter function was not restored (a total of 120 minutes for up to two doses). The primary efficacy outcome was the restoration of CVC function.


Of 139 patients who received reteplase, the first-attempt success rate after a 30-minute dwell time was 66.9%. The cumulative success rates at 60, 90, and 120 minutes were 88.5%, 94.7%, and 94.7%, respectively. The variation of patient age, catheter age, CVC occlusion age, CVC type, number of lumen, or occlusion type was not associated with the efficacy of reteplase. There were no treatment-associated adverse events reported during the study period.


Reteplase at 0.4-U dosing per catheter lumen is an effective and safe alternative that rapidly restores the patency of occluded CVCs in patients with cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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