Aspiration thrombectomy for acute iliofemoral or central deep venous thrombosis

Ricardo Lopez, Randall R De Martino, Mark Fleming, Haraldur Bjarnason, Melissa Neisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The use of catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) may provide clinical benefit in patients with acute deep venous thrombosis (DVT), but significant doubt remains about its indications and risks. We assessed technical success in resolution of acute iliofemoral or central DVT after single-session treatment with a novel mechanical aspiration thrombectomy device as an alternative to initiation of CDT. Methods: This was a single-center retrospective review of patients with acute iliofemoral or central DVT treated with the Indigo continuous aspiration mechanical thrombectomy 8 system (Penumbra, Inc, Alameda, Calif) from 2016 to 2017. The primary outcome was technical success, defined as resolution of >70% of thrombus without need for postaspiration CDT, as an initial or adjunctive treatment. Secondary end points included DVT recurrence and treatment complications. Results: There were 10 patients (50% male) with a median age of 44 years (range, 19-68 years). Indication for treatment was DVT (n = 4), recurrent DVT (n = 1), stent thrombosis (n = 3), high-grade extrinsic narrowing of the inferior vena cava (IVC) due to immunoglobulin G4-related disease (n = 1), and IVC obstruction from liver tumor invasion (n = 1). Five patients had underlying May-Thurner syndrome. Five patients had iliofemoral involvement, two iliocaval, and one iliac vein alone. Two patients had central DVT, one of them involving the IVC and one involving the superior vena cava with brachiocephalic extension. Aspiration thrombectomy was technically successful in a total of six patients. Success was achieved in five of eight patients as the initial or main treatment modality and as an adjunctive treatment in one of two patients. Of the four patients in whom aspiration thrombectomy was not successful, three underwent successful further treatment with CDT. Recurrence after successful aspiration was seen in two patients. One patient developed pulmonary embolism that required no additional treatment. One patient experienced severe headaches treated with oral analgesics. Conclusions: We observed a technical success of 60% for acute iliofemoral and central DVT with an aspiration thrombectomy system that allowed definitive treatment in one setting. As a novel therapy, this avoided the need for thrombolysis in the majority of selected cases with no bleeding complications and is a promising technique for acute DVT management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • AMT
  • Aspiration mechanical thrombectomy
  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis
  • CDT
  • Continuous aspiration mechanical thrombectomy device
  • Indigo CAT
  • Pharmacomechanical aspiration thrombectomy (ie, AngioJet)
  • PMAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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