Association of Successful Ultrasound-Accelerated Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis with Postthrombotic Syndrome: A Post Hoc Analysis of the CAVA Trial

Pascale Notten, Carsten W. K. P. Arnoldussen, Rutger Brans, Andre A. E. A. de Smet, Lidwine W. Tick, Marlene H. W. van de Poel, Otmar R. M. Wikkeling, Louis-Jean Vleming, Ad Koster, Kon-Siong G. Jie, Esther M. G. Jacobs, Harm P. Ebben, Nils Planken, Hugo ten Cate, Cees H. A. Wittens, Arina J. ten Cate-Hoek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The CAVA trial did not show the anticipated risk reduction for postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) after thrombus removal via additional ultrasound-accelerated catheter-directed thrombolysis (UACDT) in patients with acute iliofemoral deep vein thrombosis (IFDVT). Difficulties in achieving an effective degree of recanalization through thrombolysis may have influenced outcomes. We therefore assessed whether successful UACDT (restored patency >= 90%) did reduce the development of PTS. Methods This CAVA trial post hoc analysis compared the proportion of PTS at 1-year follow-up between patients with successful UACDT and patients that received standard treatment only. In addition, clinical impact as well as determinants of successful thrombolysis were explored. Results UACDT was initiated in 77 (50.7%) patients and considered successful in 41 (53.2%, interrater agreement kappa = 0.7, 95% confidence interval 0.47-0.83). PTS developed in 15/41 (36.6%) patients in the successful UACDT group versus 33/75 (44.0%) controls (p = 0.44). In this comparison, successful UACDT was associated with lower Venous Clinical Severity Score (3.50 +/- 2.57 vs. 4.82 +/- 2.74,p = 0.02) and higher EuroQOL-5D (EQ-5D) scores (40.2 +/- 36.4 vs. 23.4 +/- 34.4,p = 0.01). Compared with unsuccessful UACDT, successful UACDT was associated with a shorter symptom duration at inclusion (p = 0.05), and higher rates of performed adjunctive procedures (p <0.001) and stent placement (p <0.001). Conclusion Successful UACDT was not associated with a reduced proportion of PTS 1 year after acute IFDVT compared with patients receiving standard treatment alone. There was, however, a significant reduction in symptom severity and improvement of generic quality of life according to the EQ-5D. Better patient selection and optimization of treatment protocols are needed to assess the full potential of UACDT for the prevention of PTS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1199
Number of pages12
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number08
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • deep vein thrombosis
  • postthrombotic syndrome
  • thrombolysis
  • thrombolytic agents
  • vascular patency
  • quality of life


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