Thrombosed dialysis access grafts: Percutaneous mechanical declotting without urokinase

Scott O. Trerotola, Gunnar B. Lund, Paul J. Scheel, Scott J. Savader, Anthony C. Venbrux, Floyd A. Osterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate percutaneous declotting of dialysis access grafts with available catheters without urokinase. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty- four clotted grafts were treated in 24 patients. Clot was macerated and pushed into the central circulation with balloon catheters. RESULTS: Successful mechanical declotting was performed in all but two patients (94%). The procedure was abandoned after successful declotting in four patients with poor venous outflow, resulting in a 24-hour success rate of 82%. Mean total procedure time was 116 minutes. Eight grafts clotted within 1 week. Using successful dialysis beyond 1 week as the measure of clinical success, the authors report a 59% clinical success rate with mean primary patency of 126 days (range, 16-322 days). Two complications, both emboli to the brachial artery, were successfully treated with urokinase. No symptomatic pulmonary emboli occurred. CONCLUSION: Mechanical thrombolysis of clotted grafts with currently available catheters yields results similar to those reported with mechanical devices and urokinase. The procedure is relatively inexpensive, safe, and well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-726
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Dialysis, shunts
  • Embolism, pulmonary
  • Grafts, interventional procedure
  • Thrombolysis


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