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How I use catheter-directed interventional therapy to treat patients with venous thromboembolism

Suresh Vedantham and Akhilesh K. Sista

Abstract

Patients who present with severe manifestations of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) are at higher risk for premature death and long-term disability. In recent years, catheter-based interventional procedures have shown strong potential to improve clinical outcomes in selected VTE patients. However, physicians continue to be routinely faced with challenging decisions that pertain to the utilization of these risky and costly treatment strategies, and there is a relative paucity of published clinical trials with sufficient rigor and directness to inform clinical practice. In this article, using three distinct clinical scenario presentations, we draw from the available published literature describing the natural history, pathophysiology, treatments, and outcomes of VTE to illustrate the key factors that should influence clinical decision-making for patients with severe manifestations of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The results of a recently completed pivotal multicenter randomized trial are also discussed.

  • Submitted November 4, 2016.
  • Accepted December 19, 2017.