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Thrombosed dialysis access grafts: percutaneous mechanical declotting without urokinase.

Radiology 1994 June
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.

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