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The authors studied the development of a thrombectomy device that is adequately steerable and quickly placeable in case of extensive pulmonary embolism.The device consists of a self-expandable nitinol basket mounted at a catheter-tip, which allows suction and extraction of thrombus material. Five in vitro tests were performed followed by tests in 6 sheep. In vivo thrombus material was introduced through a jugular vein to produce pulmonary embolism. After catheter insertion over the right femoral vein, the basket was placed adjacent to the pulmonary embolus and the extraction procedure was performed.In in vitro tests, the extracted thrombus amount varied between 60% and 95%. In animal experiments, the extracted amount varied between 30% and 95% as determined angiographically. Limiting factors were steerability and optimal positioning of the basket in relation to the embolus.Extraction of pulmonary embolism with the self-expanding suction basket is feasible. However, successful recanalization is limited by catheter maneuverability in the pulmonary arterial system.