(More than) doubling down: Effective fibrinolysis at a reduced rt-PA dose for catheter-directed thrombolysis combined with histotripsy

PLoS One. 2022 Jan 4;17(1):e0261567. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261567. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

Deep vein thrombosis is a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. For acute proximal deep vein thrombosis, catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy is an accepted method for vessel recanalization. Thrombolytic therapy is not without risk, including the potential for hemorrhagic bleeding that increases with lytic dose. Histotripsy is a focused ultrasound therapy that generates bubble clouds spontaneously in tissue at depth. The mechanical activity of histotripsy increases the efficacy of thrombolytic therapy at doses consistent with current pharmacomechanical treatments for venous thrombosis. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of lytic dose on histotripsy-enhanced fibrinolysis. Human whole blood clots formed in vitro were exposed to histotripsy and a thrombolytic agent (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, rt-PA) in a venous flow model perfused with plasma. Lytic was administered into the clot via an infusion catheter at concentrations ranging from 0 (control) to 4.54 μg/mL (a common clinical dose for catheter-directed thrombolysis). Following treatment, perfusate samples were assayed for markers of fibrinolysis, hemolysis, and intact red blood cells and platelets. Fibrinolysis was equivalent between the common clinical dose of rt-PA (4.54 μg/mL) and rt-PA at a reduction to one-twentieth of the common clinical dose (0.23 μg/mL) when combined with histotripsy. Minimal changes were observed in hemolysis for treatment arms with or without histotripsy, potentially due to clot damage from insertion of the infusion catheter. Likewise, histotripsy did not increase the concentration of red blood cells or platelets in the perfusate following treatment compared to rt-PA alone. At the highest lytic dose, a refined histotripsy exposure scheme was implemented to cover larger areas of the clot. The updated exposure scheme improved clot mass loss and fibrinolysis relative to administration of lytic alone. Overall, the data collected in this study indicate the rt-PA dose can be reduced by more than a factor of ten and still promote fibrinolysis when combined with histotripsy.

PMID:34982784 | PMC:PMC8726487 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0261567

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