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Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2018 Oct;24(7):1134-1143. doi: 10.1177/1076029617739703. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis Versus Standard Anticoagulation for Acute Lower Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis: A Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials.

Lu Y1,2, Chen L3, Chen J1, Tang T1,2.

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1 Department of Vascular Surgery, Enze Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Taizhou, Zhejiang, China.
2 Department of Vascular Surgery, Taizhou Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Taizhou, Zhejiang, China.
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Taizhou Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Taizhou, Zhejiang, China.


Standard anticoagulant treatment alone for acute lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is ineffective in eliminating thrombus from the deep venous system, with many patients developing postthrombotic syndrome (PTS). Because catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) can dissolve the clot, reducing the development of PTS in iliofemoral or femoropopliteal DVT. This meta-analysis compares CDT plus anticoagulation versus standard anticoagulation for acute iliofemoral or femoropopliteal DVT. Ten trials were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with anticoagulant alone, CDT was shown to significantly increase the percentage patency of the iliofemoral vein ( P < .00001; I2 = 44%) and reduce the risk of PTS ( P = .0002; I2 = 79%). In subgroup analysis of randomized controlled trials, CDT was not shown to prevent PTS ( P = .2; I2 = 59%). A reduced PTS risk was shown, however, in nonrandomized trials ( P < .00001; I2 = 47%). Meta-analysis showed that CDT can reduce severe PTS risk ( P = .002; I2 = 0%). However, CDT was not indicated to prevent mild PTS ( P = .91; I2 = 79%). A significant increase in bleeding events ( P < .00001; I2 = 33%) and pulmonary embolism (PE) ( P < .00001; I2 = 14%) were also demonstrated. However, for the CDT group, the duration of stay in the hospital was significantly prolonged compared to the anticoagulant group ( P < .00001; I2 = 0%). There was no significant difference in death ( P = .09; I2 = 0%) or recurrent venous thromboembolism events ( P = .52; I2 = 58%). This meta-analysis showed that CDT may improve patency of the iliofemoral vein or severe PTS compared with anticoagulation therapy alone, but measuring PTS risk remains controversial. However, CDT could increase the risk of bleeding events, PE events, and duration of hospital stay.


anticoagulation; catheter-directed thrombolysis; deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

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