Local Infusion of Fibrinolytic Agents for Acute Renal Artery Thromboembolism: Report of Ten Cases

Tarek A. Salam, Alan B. Lumsden, Louis G. Martin

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57 Scopus citations


Management of acute renal artery occlusion remains a therapeutic challenge. We report our experience with 10 cases of acute renal artery occlusion treated primarily by local infusion of fibrinolytic agents. Renal artery occlusion occurred as a result of thrombosis of a stenosed vessel in three cases, from renal artery embolism in two cases, as a complication of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty in four cases, and in association with aortic occlusion in one case. Flank pain was present in all cases and hematuria in four cases. Acute renal failure was seen at the time of presentation in four cases (one case from bilateral occlusion and three cases from an associated nonfunctioning contralateral kidney). Diagnosis was confirmed by renal isotope scanning and arteriography in all cases. All patients were treated by selective infusion of streptokinase or urokinase into the occluded renal arteries. In five cases this was combined with balloon catheter angioplasty. Therapy was initiated within 24 hours from the onset of symptoms in three cases, within 3 days in four cases, within 6 days in two cases, and after 5 weeks in one case. Successful revascularization was initially achieved in 7 of the 10 cases by arteriographic criteria. Rethrombosis occurred in one patient after 3 days and fibrinolytic therapy was repeated successfully. Renal function was restored in one of the four patients presenting with acute renal failure. One complication necessitating resection occurred as a result of fibrinolytic therapy in the form of acute mesenteric embolism with descending colon infarction. No major bleeding complications were encountered and there were no deaths in this group of patients. Local percutaneous intra-arterial fibrinolytic therapy can recanalize acute renal artery occlusions of variable duration ranging from <24 hours to several weeks and provides a safe and reasonable alternative to surgical intervention in selected cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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