Purpose To provide insight into the current use and results of ultrasound-facilitated catheter-directed thrombolysis (USAT) in patients with high-risk pulmonary embolism (PE). Introduction Systemic thrombolysis is an effective treatment for hemodynamically unstable, high-risk PE, but is associated with bleeding complications. USAT is thought to reduce bleeding and is therefore advocated in patients with high-risk PE and contraindications for systemic thrombolysis. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent USAT for high-risk PE in the Netherlands from 2010 to 2017. Characteristics and outcomes were analyzed. Primary outcomes were major (including intracranial and fatal) bleeding and all-cause mortality after 1 month. Secondary outcomes were allcause mortality and recurrent venous thromboembolism within 3 months. Results 33 patients underwent USAT for high-risk PE. Major bleeding occurred in 12 patients (36%, 95% CI 22–53), including 1 intracranial and 3 fatal bleeding. Allcause mortality after 1 month was 48% (16/33, 95% CI 31–66). All-cause mortality after 3 months was 50% (16/ 32, 95% CI 34–66), recurrent venous thromboembolism occurred in 1 patient (1/32, 3%, 95% CI 1–16). Conclusions This study was the first to describe characteristics and outcomes after USAT in a study population of patients with high-risk PE only, an understudied population. Although USAT is considered a relatively safe treatment option, our results illustrate that at least caution is needed in critically ill patients with high-risk PE. Further research in patients with high-risk PE is warranted to guide patient selection.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Pulmonary embolism, Thrombolytic therapy, Emergency treatment
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00270-019-02200-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/116772
Journal CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
de Winter, M.A., Hart, E.A., van den Heuvel, D.A.F., Moelker, A, Lely, R.J., Kaasjager, KAH, … Nijkeuter, M. (2019). Local Ultrasound-Facilitated Thrombolysis in High-Risk Pulmonary Embolism: First Dutch Experience. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology, 42(7), 962–969. doi:10.1007/s00270-019-02200-1