OBJECTIVES: Ultrasound-enhanced catheter-directed thrombolysis (UET) using the EKOS device for acute, peripheral arterial ischemia has been purported in clinical trials to accelerate the fibrinolytic process in order to reduce treatment time and lytic dosage. We aim to describe outcomes of UET in a real-world clinical setting.METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of all patients undergoing UET for acute limb ischemia at a single institution. Data collected included patient demographics, procedural details, and 30-day and 1-year outcomes. The primary endpoints for analysis were major adverse limb events (MALE; reintervention and/or amputation) and mortality within 30-days and 1-year. Secondary endpoints included technical success, use of adjunctive therapies, and postoperative complications.RESULTS: 32 patients (mean age 67.4 ± 14.9 years; 25% female) underwent UET for acute limb ischemia between 2014-2018. Rutherford Acute Limb Ischemia Classification was R1 in 56.3%, R2a in 31.3%, and R2b in 12.5%. Etiology was thrombosis of native artery in 12.5% of patients, prosthetic bypass in 31.3%, autogenous bypass in 6.3%, and stented native vessel in 50.0%. Mean duration of thrombolytic therapy was 22.2 ± 11.3 hours, and mean tissue plasminogen activator dose was 24.5 ± 15.3 mg. Major adverse limb events occurred in 16.7% of patients within the first 30-days and 38.9% experienced a MALE by 1-year. Limb salvage at 30-days and 1-year was 93.8% and 87.5%, respectively. Ipsilateral reintervention was required in 12.5% of patients within 30 days and 37.5% of patients within 1 year. Overall mortality was 6.2% at 30-days and 13.5% at 1-year. In-line flow to the foot was re-established in 90.6% of patients, with a significant improvement in pre- to post-op ABI (0.31+0.29 vs. 0.78+0.34, p<0.001) and number of patent tibial runoff vessels (1.31+1.20 vs. 1.96+0.86, p <0.001). There was no significant difference in revascularization success between occluded vessel types. All but one patient required adjunctive therapy such as further thromboaspiration, stenting, or balloon angioplasty. Major bleeding complications occurred in 3 patients (9.4%), including 1 intracranial hemorrhage (3.1%).CONCLUSIONS: UET with the EKOS device demonstrates acceptable real-world outcomes in the treatment of acute limb ischemia. UET is generally safe and effective at re-establishing in line flow to yield high limb salvage rates. However, UET is associated with a high rate of reintervention. Further investigation is needed into specific predictors of limb salvage and need for reintervention, as well as cost-efficacy of this technology compared to traditional methods.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.avsg.2019.12.026
View details for PubMedID 31917220