Therapeutic Use of Microbubbles and Ultrasound in Acute Peripheral Arterial Thrombosis: A Systematic Review

Johanna H. Nederhoed*, Meike Tjaberinga, René H. J. Otten, Josje M. Evers, René J. P. Musters, Willem Wisselink, Kak K. Yeung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) for acute peripheral arterial occlusion is time consuming and carries a risk of major hemorrhage. Contrast-enhanced sonothrombolysis (CEST) might enhance outcomes compared with standard CDT. In the study described here, we systematically reviewed all in vivo studies on contrast-enhanced sonothrombolysis in a setting of arterial thrombosis. A systematic search of the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science databases was conducted. Two reviewers independently performed the study selection, quality assessment and data extraction. Primary outcomes were recanalization rate and thrombus weight. Secondary outcome was any possible adverse event. The 35 studies included in this review were conducted in four different (pre)clinical settings: ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, (peripheral) arterial thrombosis and arteriovenous graft occlusion. Because of the high heterogeneity among the studies, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. In almost all studies, recanalization rates were higher in the group that underwent a form of CEST. One study was terminated early because of a higher incidence of intracranial hemorrhage. Studies on CEST suggest that adding microbubbles and ultrasound to standard intra-arterial CDT is safe and might improve outcomes in acute peripheral arterial thrombosis. Further research is needed before CEST can be implemented in daily practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2821-2838
Number of pages18
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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