• We treated 27 cases of arterial thromboembolism, including nine thrombosed grafts, with intra-arterial (IA) streptokinase. Complete lysis without significant residual lesions was achieved in eight (30%) of the cases, and partial lysis with sustained improvement was achieved in an additional six cases (22%). Partial lysis revealing inaccessible residual disease in runoff vessels occurred in four (15%) of the cases, and nine (33%) were primary failures. Surgery was completely avoided in 11(41%) of the patients, lesser amputations were possible in three (11%), and 18 (67%) avoided major amputation. Grafts lysed faster (35 v 62 hours) and more frequently (seven [78%] of nine v 11[61%] of 18) than native vessels, but had a higher rethrombosis rate (four [71%] of seven v two [11%] of 11) and a lower late patency rate (two [22%] of nine v nine [50%] of 18). Significant bleeding occurred in one (3.7%) of the patients, and major thromboembolic complications occurred in four (13.8%). None occurred in those treated with concomitant heparin sodium. Better patency and fewer complications were also observed in limbs that were not acutely threatened, when IA streptokinase infusion was completed within 48 hours, and when the occluded segment and runoff vessels were rendered widely patent by IA streptokinase, with the aid of balloon angioplasty when necessary (five [36%] of 14).
(Arch Surg 1984;119:697-702)