Resources

Q

What is Isolated Thrombolysis?

A

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood disorder resulting from the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) inside a deep vein of the leg or arm. DVT occurs when the blood clot either partially or completely blocks the flow of blood in the vein. Patient symptoms include pain, swelling, and discoloration.

Q

What are treatment options for DVT?

A

IV Anti-coagulation Therapy (clot-dissolving drugs or blood thinners), Catheter Directed Thrombosis (using a catheter in the vein to administer anti-coagulation medication), and Catheter Directed Isolated Thrombosis.

Q

What is Isolated Pharmacomechanical Thrombolysis/Thrombectomy?

A

Utilizing the Trellis® Peripheral Infusion System a catheter with two occluding balloons, drug infusion holes between the balloons, and mechanical drug dispersion capabilities enables physicians to provide focused treatment of thrombus and remove it completely from the blood vessel.

Q

How is Isolated Thrombolysis performed?

A

The Interventional Radiologists obtains standard venous access by inserting a catheter into the vein. The catheter is guided through the venous system with an external x-ray and advanced through the blood clot. A balloon is then inflated on each side of the clot before the blood thinning medication is administered. Once in place thrombolytic drugs are administered directly to the clot. The rotating wire in the catheter is then activated to help break up the clot. Once the clot is broken up the remaining clot material and thrombolytic drugs are removed through the catheter. The procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours and the patient is relieved of symptoms almost immediately, has a reduced risk of pulmonary embolism, and is not required to stay in the intensive care unit.

Q

What are the benefits of Isolated Thrombolysis?

A
  • Shorter treatment times – a few hours versus a few days.
  • The balloons isolate the thrombolytic agent.
  • Disperses drug throughout the clot, allowing the drug to act more quickly than catheter directed thrombosis alone.
  • The thrombolytic agent is aspirated through the catheter.
  • The vein is immediately unblocked and inline flow is restored, which leads to cessation of patient’s symptoms.
Q

Why is DVT so dangerous?

A

DVT is the main cause of pulmonary embolism. According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, “In the United States alone, 600,000 cases of pulmonary embolism are diagnosed each year. One in every 100 people who develops DVT will die due to pulmonary embolism. PE contributes to 200,000 deaths annually."

Q

What is a Pulmonary Embolism?

A

Pulmonary embolism is a condition that occurs when a blood clot breaks off and travels through the veins and becomes trapped in the lung, where it blocks the oxygen supply. Most clots originate in the legs but can also come from other parts of the body. Pulmonary Embolism is one of the leading causes of hospital deaths.

Q

What causes DVT?

A

There are three principal factors that cause DVT. They are reduced blood flow in deep veins (venous stasis), injury to the blood vessel wall, and an increase in activity of clotting substances in the blood (hypercoagulability) .
There are a number of factors that can bring about these conditions and increase the possibility of developing DVT:

  • Immobilization, such as lying in bed following surgery
  • Having undergone a surgical procedure
  • Having been subjected to major trauma
  • Increasing age
  • Malignancy (cancerous tumor)
  • Heart failure
  • A previous DVT
  • Pregnancy
  • The use of oral contraceptives