Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Vasc Interv Radiol. 1996 Nov-Dec;7(6):845-51.

Pulse-spray treatment of subclavian and jugular venous thrombi with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) injected by pulse-spray in lysing subclavian and jugular venous thrombi.


Twelve patients with symptomatic, venogram-confirmed, occlusive thrombi of the subclavian-axillary or jugular veins were treated with one or two daily 15-minute injections of rtPA delivered directly into the clots with pulse-spray catheters. Twenty-four hours after each treatment, repeated venograms were obtained to assess venous patency. Successful thrombolysis was defined as antegrade flow through the previously occluded segments with minimal collateral venous flow. Continued patency was assessed with repeated venograms obtained after 1 and 2 months of oral anticoagulation.


The 15-minute rtPA injections successfully lysed thrombi in eight of the 12 patients. Hypofibrinogenemia developed in only one patient. The technique had a high success rate with thrombi less than 2 weeks old (seven of eight) regardless of the length of the clot, but had limited success with thrombi more than 2 weeks old (one of four). Continued patency over a 2-month interval was documented in four of the eight patients whose thrombi were successfully lysed. However, patency could be maintained in only one of the four patients who retained a venous access device in the treated vein.


Pulse spray rtPA is an effective, safe, and practical alternative to continuous infusions of thrombolytic agents to treat upper extremity venous thrombi.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk