The Role of Thrombolysis in the Clinical Management of Deep Vein Thrombosis
The cornerstones of current management of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are the routine use of anticoagulant therapy, graduated elastic compression stockings, and early ambulation. Thrombolytic therapy was previously reserved only for patients with life-, limb-, or organ-threatening complications. However, the postthrombotic syndrome has been increasingly recognized as a frequent and serious long-term complication of DVT. In parallel, endovascular thrombolytic methods have evolved considerably in recent years, prompting discussion and controversy as to whether they should be more liberally used. In some centers, pharmacomechanical catheter–directed thrombolysis is now routinely used in the treatment of acute iliofemoral DVT. Randomized trials are currently under way to determine when the use of pharmacomechanical catheter–directed thrombolysis is appropriate in patients presenting with acute proximal DVT.
- Received December 3, 2010.
- Accepted December 21, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.