Background: Transvenous endovascular treatment including combination pharmacological and mechanical modalities is reserved for patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) not responsive to standard anticoagulation. However, transvenous endovascular treatment may not always be successful in achieving recanalization.
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of prolonged microcatheter based local thrombolytic infusion in treatment of patients with CVT who achieved no or suboptimal recanalization with endovascular treatment.
Methods: Patients who underwent transvenous endovascular treatment for cerebral venous thrombosis at three hospitals were identified through local registries. The final response to treatment was assessed and prolonged microcatheter based local thrombolytic infusion was instituted in selected patients as second line treatment. Serial angiograms were performed to assess treatment response and determine the duration of infusion.
Results: Of the 85 patients admitted with CVT, 13 patients underwent 14 transvenous endovascular treatments. Initial treatment was considered suboptimal in 10/14 procedures due to no recanalization in 6, partial recanalization in 3, and re-occlusion in 1 patient. A prolonged microcatheter-based local recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) infusion was used in 9 of the 10 procedures for a median duration of 16 hours (range 15-22 hours). Follow up angiography demonstrated complete recanalization in 4 procedures and improvement of the partial recanalization in 5 additional procedures. One patient died before the follow up imaging could be acquired. None of the patients developed intracranial hemorrhage associated with local thrombolytic infusion. The microcatheter position had shifted during the infusion in one procedure.
Conclusion: Prolonged microcatheter based local thrombolytic infusion appears to effective treatment in patients who have suboptimal response to acute transvenous endovascular treatment without any additional adverse events.