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Crit Care Med. 2004 Oct;32(10):1990-6.

Recombinant urokinase is safe and effective in restoring patency to occluded central venous access devices: a multiple-center, international trial.

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Intensive Care, Traumatological Hospital, Masaryk University of Brno, Czech Republic.



The treatment of choice for central venous access device (CVAD) occlusion is intracatheter thrombolysis, which has been reported to reestablish patency in up to 80% of cases. However, these salient results have only been achieved in highly selected CVAD subgroups such as nontunneled devices in adult patients, devices with recent occlusion, and in partially occluded devices through which fluid can still be infused (withdrawal occlusions). Less is known about the success of intracatheter thrombolysis in the broader range of CVAD malfunction encountered in clinical practice, especially in those devices that are totally occluded.


This multiple-center, open-label study was performed to test the hypothesis that a new recombinant urokinase (r-UK, urokinase alfa) is safe and effective in reestablishing patency in a large unselected cohort of occluded CVADs.


Pediatric and adult patients with any type of CVAD occlusion of any duration were treated with 5000 IU/mL intracatheter r-UK. Lumen patency was assessed after 5, 15, and 30 mins; a second dose of r-UK was instilled if the catheter remained occluded after 30 mins.


A total of 903 r-UK instillations were performed in 878 patients (age range, 16 days to 96 yrs). Overall, instillation of r-UK successfully restored total catheter patency (all treated lumens) to 75% of CVADs (681 of 902). Patency was restored to at least one occluded lumen in 79% of devices (712 of 902). Patency was restored equally in catheters with total occlusion (76%) as in catheters with only withdrawal occlusion (75%). The median +/- sd time to patency was 15 +/- 20.8 mins (range, 5-203 mins).


The use of a new r-UK, 5000 IU/mL, is safe and effective for the restoration of patency to occluded CVADs.

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