Updates by Month

Analysis of Thrombolysis in acute DVT Surveys

Created - 20.10.2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to offer my sincere apologies for the delay in the publication of the analysis of my two recent Surveys about Thrombolysis in acute DVT and the second on the possible reasons behind not providing this service. Also, I would like to thank those who participated in these surveys.

Since the introduction of NICE guideline* for Thrombolysis in acute Ilio-Femoral DVT in 2012, a selection of Interventional radiologists (IR) started providing this form of treatment to patients with a history of DVT of less than 2 weeks’ duration.

The second survey showed that several IR’s colleagues have shown an interest in providing this form of treatment even though a small number (22%) are put off by the recent presentation of ATTRACT trial which claimed that there was no benefit in acute DVT thrombolysis in terms of preventing Post Thrombotic syndrome (ATTRACT fails to meet primary endpoint, but experts agree results are “hypothesis-generating” Vascular News 6th March 2017).

The purpose of both surveys is to pave the way to establish a registry on Thrombolysis in acute Ilio-Femoral DVT sponsored by BSIR. The surveys show that a number of Interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons, albeit small, do offer both Mechanical and or Catheter directed Thrombolysis.

As you can see from my summary report below, we are all providing the recommended pathway of treatment and utilizing available technologies to achieve the best outcomes. However, to gain some insight into the efficacy of these techniques, I would recommend a formal registry, run by the BSIR. I would recommend at least two years’ follow up. In addition, the registry is going to be used as a tool to determine how we define a successful primary outcome (i.e. preserved valve function, speed of flow, absence of reflux and whether there is a residual clot or stenosis) and whether this translates into good medium to long term outcomes.

Meanwhile, there are two controversial issues which require a consensus. The first issue is related to the use of IVC filter prior to thrombolysis and rather than putting my views on this topic I would like to share with you several publications on this issue which are worth reading:

PREPIC-1 (Decousus et al.  A clinical trial of vena caval filters in the prevention of pulmonary embolism in patients with proximal deep vein thrombosis.  NEJM 1998; 338:409)

PREPIC-1 Follow-Up Study (Eight-year follow-up of patients with permanent vena cava filters in the prevention of pulmonary embolism.  Circulation 2005; 112: 416-422)

PREPIC-2  (Effect of a retrievable inferior vena cava filter plus anticoagulation vs. anticoagulation alone on risk of recurrent pulmonary embolism: A randomized clinical trial.  JAMA 2015; 313: 1627)

Prasad V, Rho J, Cifu A.  The IVC Filter: How could a medical device be so well accepted without any evidence of efficacy?  JAMA Internal Medicine 2013; 173(7) 493-495.

The second issue which is equally very important and is to do with the future follow up of our patients following thrombolysis and whose responsibility it is.

Please, enjoy reading the analysis of the surveys’ outcomes and don’t hesitate to reply with your invaluable thoughts and suggestions on what questions should be included in any planned future registry.

Best wishes

Said Habib

Consultant IR, Nottingham University Hospitals

*NICE guideline:

Deep vein thrombosis

1.2.6Consider catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy for patients with symptomatic iliofemoral DVT who have:

  • symptoms of less than 14 days' duration and
  • good functional status and
  • a life expectancy of 1 year or more and
  • a low risk of bleeding. [2012]

< Back to News and Updates