Percutaneous transluminal therapy of occluded saphenous vein grafts: Can the challenge be met with ultrasound thrombolysis?

Uri Rosenschein, Georg Gaul, Raimund Erbel, Franz Amann, Diego Velasguez, H. Stoerger, Ruediger Simon, German Gomez, Joerg Troster, Antonio Bartorelli, Michael Pieper, Zenon Kyriakides, Shlomo Laniado, Hylton I. Miller, Alain Cribier, Jean Fajadet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - Percutaneous transluminal treatment of a thrombotic vein graft yields poor results. We have previously reported our experience with transluminal percutaneous coronary ultrasound thrombolysis (CUT) in the setting of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). This report describes the first experience with ultrasound thrombolysis in thrombus-rich lesions in saphenous vein grafts (SVGs), most of which were occluded. Methods and Results - The patients (n=20) were mostly male (85%), aged 64±4 years old. The presenting symptom was AMI in 2 patients (10%) and unstable angina in the rest. Fifteen patients (75%) had totally occluded SVGs. The median age of clots was 6 days (range, 0 to 100 days). The ultrasound thrombolysis device has a 1.6-mm-long tip and fits into a 7F guiding catheter over a 0.014-in guidewire in a 'rapid-exchange' system. CUT (41 kHz, 1.8 W, ≤6 minutes) led to device success in 14 (70%) of the patients and residual stenosis of 65±28%. Procedural success was obtained in 13 (65%) of the patients, with a final residual stenosis of 5±8%. There was a low rate of device-related adverse events: 1 patient (5%) had a non-Q-wave myocardial infarction, and distal embolization was noted in 1 patient (5%). Adjunct PTCA or stenting was used in all patients. There were no serious adverse events during hospitalization. Conclusions - Ultrasound thrombolysis in thrombus-rich lesions in SVGs offers a very promising therapeutic option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-29
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bypass
  • Grafting
  • Occlusion
  • Thrombolysis
  • Ultrasonics


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