An Update on Ultrasound-Accelerated Thrombolysis

Robert J. Kennedy, MD, discusses ultrasound-accelerated thrombolysis at ISET 2013.

Robert J. Kennedy, MD, discusses ultrasound-accelerated thrombolysis at ISET 2013.

Ultrasound-accelerated thrombolysis (USAT) enables the breaking down or “melting” of blood clots. It uses ultrasound energy along with thrombolytic agents to help accelerate the process of thrombolysis. In 2012, we spoke with Robert J. Kennedy about details of a study he presented at the 2012 International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) that evaluated 30-day results for patients in which USAT was used to treat pulmonary embolism (PE).  And at the 2013 ISET meeting Dr. Kennedy presented 90-day survival data.

Because previous studies have reported poor outcomes for acute PE patients with high thrombus burden on anticoagulation alone, Dr. Kennedy sought to study the safety profile and clinical success of catheter-directed USAT. Success of the treatment was determined by improvement of hemodynamic parameters, including pulmonary artery pressure and angiographic clearance of thrombus. The study retrospectively reviewed 60 consecutive acute PE patients at a single center treated between October 2009 and April 2012. All patients received anticoagulation and USAT using the EkoSonic Endovascular system from EKOS Corporation.

“This year we looked at the intermediate-term survival – 90 day survival – and found very encouraging results. In the submassive PE group, which was 48 out of 60 patients, 47 of 48 were alive at 90 days, and in the massive PE group, 9 out of 12 were alive at 90 days. Overall, that’s a 93% survival rate at 90 days, which compares favorably to what’s in the literature,” said Dr. Kennedy.

See video from the interview at “Ultrasound-Accelerated Thrombolysis: An Interview with Robert J. Kennedy, MD.”


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