Background: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common cardiovascular disease with significant mortality. Some patients with large PE are not eligible for current treatment options such as thrombolysis or surgical embolectomy. We report our experience of percutaneous rheolytic thrombectomy (PRT) using the AngioJet system combined with adjunctive local thrombolytic therapy and inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement to treat massive or submassive PE in patients ineligible for current treatment options. Methods and Results: Of the 14 consecutive patients ineligible for thrombolysis or embolectomy treated with PRT, 10 patients had massive PE (6 patients were hypotensive and 4 patients had intractable hypoxemia) and 4 patients had submassive PE. Adjunctive local thrombolysis was performed in 5 patients. An IVC filter was placed in 11 patients. Angiographic success based on Miller score was achieved in 13 patients (92.9%). Procedure success was obtained in 12 patients (85.7%). Procedural mortality occurred in one patient who presented in cardiogenic shock (7.1%) and non-fatal hemoptysis occurred in 1 patient (7.1%). Total in-hospital mortality occurred in 3 patients (21.4%). On a mean follow-up of 9 months, all 11 survivors had noted significant improvement in symptoms without recurrence. Conclusions: Percutaneous rheolytic thrombectomy using the AngioJet may be a treatment option for patients with massive or submassive PE who may not be eligible for thrombolytic therapy or surgical embolectomy.
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