• Patients with axillary-subclavian vein thrombosis often have a poor outcome when treated with intravenous heparin sodium and oral warfarin sodium. Four patients were therefore treated with thrombolytic therapy. Good initial and excellent long-term results were achieved. In follow-up that has ranged up to four years, these patients do not have the common complaints of edema, fatigue, cramping, or weakness seen after traditional anticoagulation. Patients have returned to their previous occupations and have normal arm function. Noninvasive Doppler vascular laboratory studies suggest continued patency of axillary veins. Thrombolytic therapy should be considered in the treatment of spontaneous axillarysubclavian vein thrombosis.
(Arch Surg 1987;122:1072-1075)