Reduced dose thrombolysis with ultrasound-facilitated catheter-directed administration for acute pulmonary embolism reduces length of stay

  • Nathaniel B. WayneEmail author
  • George A. Davis
  • Tracy E. Macaulay
  • Craig J. Beavers
  • Adrian W. Messerli
  • Adam Dugan
  • Susan S. Smyth


The optimal dose and duration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administered with ultrasound-facilitated catheter-directed thrombolysis (USCDT) to patients with acute PE remains to be determined. Our institution recently adopted a shorter duration (4 h) of USCDT and lower dosing strategy (tPA 1 mg/h) based on data from the OPTALYSE PE Trial. The purpose was to evaluate the implementation at our institution of shorter duration (4 h) of USCDT and lower dosing strategy (tPA 1 mg/h) as outlined by OPTALYSE PE Trial. This was a retrospective, single-center, observational study included patients from 01/01/2017 to 12/31/2018 in a large, academic medical center. Group 1 represented patients who underwent USCDT prior to 01/18/18. Group 2 represented patients who underwent USCDT after 01/18/18 and received 4 h of USCDT and tPA 1 mg/h/catheter. The primary outcome was intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcomes were the proportion of patients experiencing a composite of major adverse events (death, recurrent PE, major bleeding, or stroke), change in right ventricle size/function and pulmonary artery pressures, need for mechanical respiratory or hemodynamic support, hospital LOS and drug cost. A total of 31 patients were included in the study: twenty patients in Group 1 and eleven patients in Group 2. Median ICU LOS was 3.5 days in Group 1 and 1 day in Group 2. Group 2 had reduced MACE, requirement for mechanical respiratory or hemodynamic support, hospital LOS, drug costs and adverse events. Implementation of a shorter duration of USCDT and lower dosing strategy for tPA in patients with acute PE may be one strategy to reduce the total ICU LOS and costs associated with care.


Pulmonary embolism Catheter directed thrombolysis Ultrasound facilitated catheter directed thrombolysis Tissue plasminogen activator 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

These individuals have the following to disclose concerning possible financial or personal relationships with commercial entities (or their competitors) that may be referenced in this presentation: Nathaniel B. Wayne, PharmD: Nothing to disclose, George A. Davis, PharmD: Co-Investigator—PE Knockout Study (funding by BTG EKOS®), Tracy E. Macaulay, PharmD: Nothing to disclose, Craig J. Beavers, PharmD: Nothing to disclose, Adrian W. Messerli, MD: Primary Investigator—PE Knockout Study (funding by BTG EKOS®), Adam Dugan, MS: nothing to disclose, Susan S. Smyth, MD, PhD: Nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Kentucky HealthCare, Gill Heart and Vascular InstituteLexingtonUSA

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