Navigation Links
Clot-Busting Drug Offers New Approach to DVT

Injecting directly into clots prevents recurrence and painful side effects, small trial finds

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to treating deep vein thrombosis, injecting the clot-busting drug alteplase (rTPA) directly into clots in the legs reduces the risk of complications and recurrence, a small U.S. study suggests.

Adding rTPA to the standard treatment of blood thinners appears to completely destroy the clots, something not achieved by blood thinners alone, according to the researchers.

"The anticoagulation therapy that you get for DVT is pretty good at protecting you from pulmonary embolism, which is the life-threatening part of DVT," said study author Dr. Richard Chang, of the National Institute of Health's Department of Diagnostic Radiology.

DVT is the formation of blood clots in veins deep within the legs. These clots can turn life-threatening when they become dislodged and travel through the veins into the lungs, where they can block pulmonary veins, causing breathing problems and even death. Some 250,000 people in the United States suffer a first episode of DVT each year.

The problem with blood-thinning therapy is that it doesn't completely remove the clots in the leg veins, Chang said. "So, years down the line, about a third of the people develop post-thrombotic syndrome," he said.

Post-thrombotic syndrome can cause severe leg pain, difficulty walking and skin changes and venous ulcers. Dissolving the clot can help prevent this syndrome, Chang said.

For the study, researchers treated 20 DVT patients with a course of blood-thinning therapy. They were also given daily 50-milligram injections of rTPA for a maximum of four days. During a three-year follow-up, none of the patients developed complications associated with DVT or had a recurrence of the condition, Chang said.

The findings are published in the February issue of Radiology.

Chang noted that the objection to the clot-busting approach is the fear of bleeding caused by rTPA. However, by injecting rTPA directly into the clot, little of the drug circulates through the bloodstream. In addition, this method allows doctors to treat all the clots in leg veins, Chang said.

In an extension of this study, Chang's team has done the same procedure using rTPA doses that are five times lower than the ones used in this trial. Lower doses of rTPA further reduce the risk of bleeding, he said.

Although the results of this second study haven't been published yet, Chang said the results were "even better."

"There is a lot of margin for improving this even further," Chang said. The use of thrombotic therapy is not meant to replace blood-thinning therapy, he added, but to be used in tandem to help prevent later complications and recurrence of DVT.

Dr. Suresh Vedantham, an interventional radiologist and an assistant professor of radiology and surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, thinks that this method of dissolving clots could eventually become an outpatient procedure.

"That would be a major step forward," Vedantham said. "This technique is very promising, but it needs to be tested in a larger trial."

But another expert said he wasn't sure if this treatment will prove to be useful.

"The fundamental question is if one requires this intensive type of treatment in order to improve patient outcome over the long term," said Dr. Samuel Z. Goldhaber, director of the venous thromboembolism research group at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Goldhaber noted that the clot-busting procedure is difficult to do and requires advanced training and it goes against the currently accepted treatment for DVT. "This approach needs to be proven in a randomized, controlled trial," he said.

The trial would have to show that the clot-dissolving procedure was superior to current therapy, worth the extra cost and effort, and the temporary discomfort to the patient, Goldhaber said.

More information

For more on deep vein thrombosis, visit the Society for Interventional Radiology.

SOURCES: Richard Chang, M.D., Department of Diagnostic Radiology, U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.; Suresh Vedantham, M.D., interventional radiologist, assistant professor, radiology and surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D., director, venous thromboembolism research group, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; February 2008 Radiology

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. WebTribes Offers Online Home for Those with Illnesses
2. Maintenance Software Company Bucks Trend, Offers Unlimited No-Charge Product Tech Support
3. Camera in a pill offers cheaper, easier window on your insides
4. Long Term Care Insurance Leader Offers Advice on Preventing Dementia, the Leading Cause of Care Claims
5. Spencer Institute Offers a Home-Training Course for Hemispheric Integration & Neuro-linguistics Coach Certification
6. Governor Rendell Offers Coverage to 29,000 on AdultBasic Waiting List; Unveils New Policy to Improve Quality of Care for the Low-Income and Pennsylvanians With Disabilities
7. Hispanic Insure Offers Health Insurance Solutions for Hispanic Business Owners
8. MHA Insurance Company Offers Financial Incentive to Physician Policyholders Who Use Electronic Medical Records
9. FDA to Declare Cold Medicines Too Risky, Homeopathy Offers a Safe Alternative
10. March of Dimes Offers New Resources for Pregnancy and Baby Health
11. UM/Sylvester Offers Community the Gift of Well Being
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Clot-Busting Drug Offers New Approach to DVT
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide variety of dental needs can ... S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ . Unlike traditional treatment ... system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during treatment and the following ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... solutions for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced ... upcoming Clinical Trial Supply East Asia Conference, to be held at the InterContinental ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... It takes only three to five seconds to make ... the first impression be positive and reflects business values. If a client starts with ... want to return. They will also share their thoughts about a business with others, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... advisory organization, is pleased to welcome Winter-Dent & Company as its newest Partner ... day one to become a client's most trusted advisor regardless of whether that ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, ... series of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their recovery ... residential treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their recovery ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... and BERN, Switzerland , November ... ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research of the University ... Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of the ... start of an exclusive collaboration to develop a novel ... for the personalised delivery of insulin for diabetic patients ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FLINT, Mich. , Nov. 24, 2015 Diplomat ... , Senior Vice President of Clinical Services, Education and Human ... (AIS) online webinar, "Oral Oncology Drugs: Health Plan Strategies for ... co-presenting with Beckie Fenrick , a consultant with the ... The webinar will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 iRhythm Technologies, Inc. , ... care, today announced that it will participate in the 27th Annual ... New York, NY . Kevin King ... Tuesday December 1, 2015 at 8:50am ET. ... . --> . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: