Ultrasound-enhanced tissue plasminogen activator thrombolysis in an in vitro porcine clot model.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Medical Science Building, Rm. 6167, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0586, USA.
Thrombosis Research (Impact Factor: 3.13). 02/2008; 121(5):663-73. DOI:10.1016/j.thromres.2007.07.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thrombolytics such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) have advanced the treatment of ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
To improve the efficacy of this thrombolytic therapy, the synergistic effect of rt-PA and 120 kHz or 1.0 MHz ultrasound was assessed in vitro using a porcine clot model.
Fully retracted whole blood clots prepared from fresh porcine blood were employed to compare rt-PA thrombolytic treatment with and without exposure to 120-kHz or 1-MHz ultrasound. For sham studies (without ultrasound), clot mass loss was measured as a function of rt-PA concentration from 0.003 to 0.107 mg/ml. For combined ultrasound and rt-PA treatments, peak-to-peak pressure amplitudes of 0.35, 0.70 or 1.0 MPa were employed. The range of duty cycles varied from 10% to 100% (continuous wave) and the pulse repetition frequency was fixed at 1.7 KHz.
For rt-PA alone, the mass loss increased monotonically as a function of rt-PA concentration up to approximately 0.050 mg/ml. With ultrasound and rt-PA exposure, clot mass loss increased by as much as 104% over rt-PA alone. Ultrasound without the presence of rt-PA did not significantly enhance thrombolysis compared to control treatment. The ultrasound-mediated clot mass loss enhancement increased with the square root of the overall treatment duration.
Both 120-kHz and 1-MHz pulsed and CW ultrasound enhanced rt-PA thrombolysis in a porcine whole blood clot model in vitro. No clear dependence of the observed thrombolytic enhancement on ultrasound duty cycle was evident. The lack of duty cycle dependence suggests a more complex mechanism that could not be sustained by merely increasing the pulse duration.

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