Pharmacomechanical Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis in Acute Femoral-Popliteal Deep Vein Thrombosis: Analysis from a Stratified Randomized Trial

Clive Kearon, Chu Shu Gu, Jim A. Julian, Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Anthony J. Comerota, Heather L. Gornik, Timothy P. Murphy, Laurence Lewis, Susan R. Kahn, Andrei L. Kindzelski, Dennis Slater, Randolph Geary, Ronald Winokur, Kannan Natarajan, Alan Dietzek, Daniel A. Leung, Stanley Kim, Suresh Vedantham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives The Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) trial reported that pharmacomechanical catheter-directed thrombolysis (PCDT) did not reduce post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), but reduced moderate-to-severe PTS and the severity of PTS symptoms. In this analysis, we examine the effect of PCDT in patients with femoral-popliteal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (without involvement of more proximal veins). Patients and Methods Within the ATTRACT trial, 300 patients had DVT involving the femoral vein without involvement of the common femoral or iliac veins and were randomized to receive PCDT with anticoagulation or anticoagulation alone (no PCDT). Patients were followed for 24 months. Results From 6 to 24 months, between the PCDT versus no PCDT arms, there was: no difference in any PTS (Villalta scale ≥ 5: risk ratio [RR] = 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75-1.24); moderate-or-severe PTS (Villalta scale ≥ 10: RR = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.57-1.52); severity of PTS scores; or general or disease-specific quality of life (p > 0.5 for all comparisons). From baseline to both 10 and 30 days, there was no difference in improvement of leg pain or swelling between treatment arms. From baseline to 10 days, major bleeding occurred in three versus none (p = 0.06) and any bleeding occurred in eight versus two (p = 0.032) PCDT versus no PCDT patients. Over 24 months, recurrent venous thromboembolism occurred in 16 PCDT and 12 no PCDT patients (p = 0.24). Conclusion In patients with femoral-popliteal DVT, PCDT did not improve short- or long-term efficacy outcomes, but it increased bleeding. Therefore, PCDT should not be used as initial treatment of femoral-popliteal DVT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-644
Number of pages12
JournalThrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • clinical trial
  • post-thrombotic syndrome
  • thrombolytic
  • treatment
  • venous thrombosis

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