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Grand Rounds
December 8, 1999

Thrombolytic Therapy for Deep Venous Thrombosis?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Hematology Service, Clinical Pathology Department (Dr Horne) and the Special Procedures Unit, Radiology Department (Dr Chang), Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.


Grand Rounds at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health Section Editors: John I. Gallin, MD, the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md; David S. Cooper, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 1999;282(22):2164-2166. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2164

We present the case of a man bedridden by deep venous thrombosis who was given intraclot instillations of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator with remarkable improvement. Although such aggressive treatment may be justified in severe cases, the role for thrombolytic agents for less symptomatic deep venous thrombosis is undefined. We discuss the question of when thrombolytic therapy should be considered. However, proper clinical trials are needed before firm recommendations can be made.