Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal With Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis


About this study

The purpose of this study is to determine if the use of adjunctive Pharmacomechanical Catheter Directed Thrombolysis, which includes the intrathrombus administration of rt-PA--Activase (Alteplase),can prevent the post-thrombotic syndrome(PTS)in patients with symptomatic proximal deep vein thrombosis(DVT)as compared with optimal standard DVT therapy alone.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Symptomatic proximal DVT involving the iliac, common femoral, and/or femoral vein.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age less than 16 years or greater than 75 years.
  • Symptom duration > 14 days for the DVT episode in the index leg (i.e., non-acute DVT).
  • In the index leg: established PTS, or previous symptomatic DVT within the last 2 years.
  • In the contralateral (non-index) leg: symptomatic acute DVT a) involving the iliac and/or common femoral vein; or b) for which thrombolysis is planned as part of the initial therapy.
  • Limb-threatening circulatory compromise.
  • PE with hemodynamic compromise (i.e., hypotension).
  • Inability to tolerate PCDT procedure due to severe dyspnea or acute systemic illness.
  • Allergy, hypersensitivity, or thrombocytopenia from heparin, rt-PA, or iodinated contrast, except for mild-moderate contrast allergies for which steroid pre-medication can be used.
  • Hemoglobin < 9.0 mg/dl, INR > 1.6 before warfarin was started, or platelets < 100,000/ml.
  • Moderate renal impairment in diabetic patients (estimated GFR < 60 ml/min) or severe renal impairment in non-diabetic patients (estimated GFR < 30 ml/min).
  • Active bleeding, recent (< 3 mo) GI bleeding, severe liver dysfunction, bleeding diathesis.
  • Recent (< 3 mo) internal eye surgery or hemorrhagic retinopathy; recent (< 10 days) major surgery, cataract surgery, trauma, CPR, obstetrical delivery, or other invasive procedure.
  • History of stroke or intracranial/intraspinal bleed, tumor, vascular malformation, aneurysm.
  • Active cancer (metastatic, progressive, or treated within the last 6 months). Exception: patients with non-melanoma primary skin cancers are eligible to participate in the study.
  • Severe hypertension on repeated readings (systolic > 180 mmHg or diastolic > 105 mmHg).
  • Pregnant (positive pregnancy test, women of childbearing potential must be tested).
  • Recently (< 1 mo) had thrombolysis or is participating in another investigational drug study.
  • Use of a thienopyridine antiplatelet drug (except clopidogrel) in the last 5 days.
  • Life expectancy < 2 years or chronic non-ambulatory status.
  • Inability to provide informed consent or to comply with study assessments (e.g. due to cognitive impairment or geographic distance).

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Sanjay Misra, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

More information


  • This chapter about treatment for venous thromboembolic disease is part of the American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (8th Edition). Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do or do not outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patient values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading, see "Grades of Recommendation" chapter). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: for patients with objectively confirmed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), we recommend anticoagulant therapy with subcutaneous (SC) low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), monitored IV, or SC unfractionated heparin (UFH), unmonitored weight-based SC UFH, or SC fondaparinux (all Grade 1A). For patients with a high clinical suspicion of DVT or PE, we recommend treatment with anticoagulants while awaiting the outcome of diagnostic tests (Grade 1C). For patients with confirmed PE, we recommend early evaluation of the risks to benefits of thrombolytic therapy (Grade 1C); for those with hemodynamic compromise, we recommend short-course thrombolytic therapy (Grade 1B); and for those with nonmassive PE, we recommend against the use of thrombolytic therapy (Grade 1B). In acute DVT or PE, we recommend initial treatment with LMWH, UFH or fondaparinux for at least 5 days rather than a shorter period (Grade 1C); and initiation of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) together with LMWH, UFH, or fondaparinux on the first treatment day, and discontinuation of these heparin preparations when the international normalized ratio (INR) is > or = 2.0 for at least 24 h (Grade 1A). For patients with DVT or PE secondary to a transient (reversible) risk factor, we recommend treatment with a VKA for 3 months over treatment for shorter periods (Grade 1A). For patients with unprovoked DVT or PE, we recommend treatment with a VKA for at least 3 months (Grade 1A), and that all patients are then evaluated for the risks to benefits of indefinite therapy (Grade 1C). We recommend indefinite anticoagulant therapy for patients with a first unprovoked proximal DVT or PE and a low risk of bleeding when this is consistent with the patient's preference (Grade 1A), and for most patients with a second unprovoked DVT (Grade 1A). We recommend that the dose of VKA be adjusted to maintain a target INR of 2.5 (INR range, 2.0 to 3.0) for all treatment durations (Grade 1A). We recommend at least 3 months of treatment with LMWH for patients with VTE and cancer (Grade 1A), followed by treatment with LMWH or VKA as long as the cancer is active (Grade 1C). For prevention of postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) after proximal DVT, we recommend use of an elastic compression stocking (Grade 1A). For DVT of the upper extremity, we recommend similar treatment as for DVT of the leg (Grade 1C). Selected patients with lower-extremity (Grade 2B) and upper-extremity (Grade 2C). DVT may be considered for thrombus removal, generally using catheter-based thrombolytic techniques. For extensive superficial vein thrombosis, we recommend treatment with prophylactic or intermediate doses of LMWH or intermediate doses of UFH for 4 weeks (Grade 1B). Read More on PubMed
  • The postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) is the most common complication of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) yet has received little attention from clinicians and researchers. Clinically, PTS is characterized by chronic pain, swelling, heaviness and other signs in the affected limb. In severe cases, venous ulcers may develop. PTS is burdensome and costly to patients and society because of its high prevalence, severity and chronicity. Preventing DVT with the use of effective thromboprophylaxis in high-risk patients and settings and minimizing the risk of ipsilateral DVT recurrence are likely to reduce the frequency of PTS. Compression stockings worn daily after DVT appear to reduce the incidence and severity of PTS but questions regarding their use and effectiveness remain. Future research should focus on identifying patients at high risk for PTS, assessing the role of thrombolysis in preventing PTS and evaluating the optimal use of compression stockings in preventing and treating PTS. In addition, new therapies to treat PTS should be sought and evaluated. Read More on PubMed
  • To evaluate an approach to the treatment of iliofemoral deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that included pharmacomechanical catheter-directed thrombolysis with reteplase and the Helix mechanical thrombectomy device, followed by early stent placement. Read More on PubMed

Mayo Clinic Footer