Fibrinolytic therapy for upper-extremity arterial occlusions

David M. Widlus, Anthony C. Venbrux, James F. Benenati, Sally E. Mitchell, Alma Lynch-Nyhan, Francis P. Cassidy, Floyd A. Osterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Acute upper-extremity arterial occlusion may be due to embolic phenomena or de novo thrombosis. If the occlusion is left untreated, claudication or ischemia necessitating amputation can occur. Operative Fogarty-balloon embolectomy has been the treatment of choice for this entity. In a 6-year period the authors used f ibrinolysis on nine occasions in eight patients to treat acute upper-extremity arterial occlusions. Concomitant balloon angioplasty was helpful in four cases. Success, defined as a normal hand with at least one artery that was continuously patent to the wrist, was achieved in all patients. A single significant groin hematoma was seen. Neither stroke nor death occurred in any case, and no amputations were necessary. Local transcatheter intraarterial administration of urokinase can be considered a first-line treatment for brachial artery embolus and other causes of acute upper-extremity arterial occlusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-399
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Arteries, extremities, 91.1274
  • Arteries, stenosis or obstruction, 91.77
  • Extremities, thrombosis, 91.77
  • Fibrinolysis, 91.1274
  • Streptokinase, 91.1274
  • Thrombosis, arterial, 91.77
  • Urokinase, 91.1274

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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