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A new rotational thrombectomy catheter: System design and first clinical experiences

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Purpose: To describe a new catheter for the percutaneous mechanical removal of fresh and organized thrombi, and to assess its efficacy and safety in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: The catheter consists of a coated stainless steel spiral that rotates at 40,000 rpm over a guidewire inside the whole length of an 8 Fr, single-lumen, polyurethane catheter, driving a dual-blade cutting crown. Abraded occlusion material is sucked into the catheter head through distal side holes and transported by the spiral into a reservoir at the proximal end. The efficacy of the device was tested in arterial models and fresh bovine carotid arteries (n=72). In a clinical pilot study 10 patients (8 women, 2 men; mean age 70.6 ±10.1 years) with occlusions of the superficial femoral artery (2–12 cm, mean 5.8 cm), not older than 4 weeks, underwent thrombectomy with the new catheter.

Results: In arterial models and bovine cadaver arteries the catheter completely removed fresh thrombi. Occlusion material of higher consistency was cut into particles of 100–500 μm and transported outside. Thrombectomy was successful and vessel patency restored in all 10 patients. The ankle/brachial pressure index significantly (p<0.0005) increased from 0.41±0.18 before intervention to 0.88±0.15 after 48 hr and to 0.84±0.20 after 3 months. Two reocclusions occurred within 14 days after the intervention.

Conclusion: Thrombectomy with the new device appears to be feasible and safe in patients with acute and subacute occlusions of the femoropopliteal artery.

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Schmitt, HE., Jäger, K.A., Jacob, A.L. et al. A new rotational thrombectomy catheter: System design and first clinical experiences. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 22, 504–509 (1999).

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