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A history of thrombolytic therapy

Kenneth Ouriel
Journal of Endovascular Therapy 2004, 11 Suppl 2: II128-133
Thrombolytic therapy has been available for the last 5 decades, but the modern era of thrombolysis began in the early 1990s, with the execution of 3 multicenter trials designed to compare this potentially less invasive therapy to the then standard of care for acute limb ischemia, open surgical revascularization. Even with the development of several bio-engineered lytic agents, the major risk of thrombolytic therapy continues to be bleeding complications. Nevertheless, data exist to suggest that thrombolysis should be considered as an adjunct to open surgery, percutaneous interventions, or, occasionally, as sole therapy for acute vascular occlusion. This review summarizes the developmental milestones in the history of thrombolysis and reviews data supporting its use in acute arterial occlusions.

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