This treatment is used to relieve blockage in an artery or vein that is caused by a blood clot, which has formed suddenly. Thrombolytic drugs are injected through a catheter directly into the clot to dissolve (lyse) the clot and restore blood flow through the vessel. This is often done on an emergency basis to prevent amputation of the affected limb (in the case of an arterial clot), to prevent death of brain tissue (in the case of stroke), or to prevent pulmonary embolism, a condition that occurs when a venous clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, which can be fatal. This treatment is usually administered while the patient is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), so that the patient may be monitored closely. Thrombolysis is also used to treat clotted veins in the arms and legs to prevent long-term swelling and ulceration of the leg (post phlebotic syndrome).


A symptomatic ulnar
(artery to the hand) artery occlusion before and after urokinase infusion therapy.

Following is a description of the some of the thrombolysis procedures RCT physicians perform, along with images that show the dramatic results produced using these techniques.
  • Stroke Thrombolysis

  • When a small blood clot blocks the arteries to the brain, the brain tissue begins to die within minutes. If this condition is recognized early enough (within 2-3 hours), blood flow to the brain can be restored in time to halt or minimize the amount of brain cell injury that occurs.
  • Peripheral Arterial Thrombolysis

  • This procedure is performed to restore blood flow to the leg or arm when the blockage in the artery to the limb is caused by an acute blood clot (less than two weeks old).
  • Venous Thrombolysis

  • This procedure is performed to remove blood clots from the veins in the arms or legs.

    Examples of conditions for which thrombolysis is used:

  • Acute Limb Threatening Ischemia

  • In this condition, the leg (or occasionally the arm) becomes suddenly cold, pale and very painful. These symptoms are caused by a blood clot completely blocking the flow of blood to the affected part of the body, often in addition to underlying atherosclerosis. Without immediate treatment, this condition will result in the need for amputation of the limb.

  • Stroke

  • A blockage of an artery in the brain due to a small blood clot. This results in loss of brain function in the area not receiving adequate blood flow. The symptoms of stroke include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, and the loss of speech.
  • Acute Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

  • In this condition, the veins of the leg or arm become filled with blood clot, preventing the return of blood from the limb to the heart. This in turn results in severe swelling and discomfort in the affected limb. The most serious result of DVT is if this clot breaks away from the veins in the pelvis or leg, and travels to the lungs, blocking the blood flow to the lung (pulmonary embolism).

Diagnostic Angiography

Peripheral Angioplasty

Venous Intervention &
Dialysis Access Management

Central Venous Access Catheters


Interventional Neuroradiology


Imaging Guided Biopsy/Abscess Drainage

Biliary Intervention for
Disorders of the Liver

GU Intervention

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