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Surgery remains one of the few options for restoring blood flow to a long-term, indwelling catheter blocked by blood clots. Now, a University of Nebraska (Omaha) Medical Center researcher reports that recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) effectively dissolves blood clots and restores function without surgery.
William Haire, MD, presented results of the six-month, randomized, double-blind study of 150 patients with blocked catheters at the recent International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Miami. Patients in the study were randomized into two groups. In one group, patients were first given a dose of placebo in their catheter. If catheter function was not restored, patients received one 2 mg dose of t-PA. In this group, researchers found that 17.1% of patients had full function of their catheter after receiving placebo. In patients who received the placebo followed by t-PA, 90% regained full function of their catheter.
In the second group, each patient first received a 2 mg dose of t-PA followed by another dose if the catheter remained blocked. Researchers found that 73.9% of patients had full function of their catheters after one dose of t-PA. Of patients whose catheters remained clogged, 90% regained full function after a second dose of t-PA.
No serious drug-related adverse effects were experienced by either group as a result of treatment, and there were no cases of intracranial hemorrhage or embolism.