Thrombolysis for acute occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery.

Steinarr Björnsson, Martin Björck, Tomas Block, Timothy Resch, Stefan Acosta

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BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the incidence, complications, and outcome of local intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy for acute superior mesenteric artery (SMA) occlusion in Sweden. METHODS: Patients undergoing local intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy for acute SMA occlusion were identified in the Swedish Vascular Registry (SWEDVASC) between 1987 and 2009. Patient data were retrieved in a structured protocol by local vascular surgeons at each participating hospital. RESULTS: Included were 34 patients (20 women) from 12 hospitals. Median age was 78 years. The first patient was treated in 1997, and the annual number of patients undergoing thrombolysis increased continuously from 2004 to 2009. Twenty-eight patients (82%) had embolic occlusion. No patients (0%) had acute peritonitis, and one (3%) had bloody stools at admission. Thirty-two patients (94%) were diagnosed by computed tomography with intravenous contrast enhancement. The median dose of alteplase was 20 mg (interquartile range, 11.6-34.0). Successful thrombolysis was achieved in 30 patients (88%). Initial adjunctive aspiration thromboembolectomy was performed in 10 patients. There were six self-limiting bleeding complications; one from the gastrointestinal tract. Thirteen explorative laparotomies, 10 repeat laparotomies, and eight bowel resections were performed. The in-hospital mortality rate was 26% (9 of 34). Age was not associated with in-hospital death (P = .42). Successful thrombolysis was associated with decreased mortality (P = .048). CONCLUSION: Local thrombolysis for acute SMA occlusion is a minimally invasive and effective treatment alternative in a select group of patients without peritonitis. The few technique-related complications were mild.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


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