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We have treated 13 patients with limb-threatening ischemia caused by acute arterial thrombosis with selective arterial infusion of streptokinase. The indications for thrombolytic therapy included medical contraindication to surgery, surgically inaccessible thrombi, arterial thrombosis following percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, and thrombosed distal arterial bypass. Patients were evaluated with arteriography, Doppler segmental arterial pressure studies, and coagulation profile. Objective evidence of complete or partial thrombolysis was demonstrated in 11 of the 13 patients (85%). Treatment after thrombolytic therapy included percutaneous transluminal angioplasty in six patients and distal bypass in two patients. Of five patients who had received no additional treatment, three required amputation. Overall limb salvage was achieved in 10 of the 13 patients. The most serious complications were puncture site bleeding in five patients, acute renal failure in one patient, and retroperitoneal hemorrhage in another patient. Bleeding was more frequent in patients with decreased serum fibrinogen levels. Although lysis of acute arterial thrombi can be achieved, thrombolytic therapy alone will allow limb salvage in only a few patients. Selective thrombolytic therapy with streptokinase must be used with caution and is associated with serious complications.
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☆Presented at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society, Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 24–25, 1982.
© 1983 Published by Elsevier Inc.