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Thrombectomy with arteriovenous fistula for embolizing deep venous thrombosis: an alternative therapy for prevention of recurrent pulmonary embolism


Thrombectomy with arteriovenous fistula was performed between 1977 and 1988 in 103 patients (41 females, 62 males, mean age 46.7 years, 114 involved extremities) with embolizing deepvein thrombosis (DVT). The sole aim of the surgical procedure was prevention of recurrent embolization. On the basis of the proximal extent of the thrombosis the source of embolization was identified as the iliac veins or inferior vena cava in 63% of the patients; 48% presented with a postphlebitic vein and/or an older thrombosis, and 46% had already had recurrent pulmonary emboli. Unsuccessful aggressive procedures had been carried out previously in 11%. The rate of intraoperative pulmonary embolism (PE) was 3 % (one fatal case). The perioperative mortality was 6.8%, but only one death was related to the surgical treatment itself. During follow-up (8–140 months postoperatively, mean 55±34 months) late recurrent PE was confirmed in two patients (antithrombin III deficiency, contralateral DVT) and was reported as the suspected cause of death in a third (3.6%). Venous thrombectomy with arteriovenous fistula is a reliable and effective procedure for management of embolizing DVT and is indicated especially in young patients. The rates of early- and late-recurrent PE are low, introduction of artificial material into the vein can be avoided, and long-term preservation of valve function is occasionally possible.

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deep venous thrombosis


pulmonary embolism


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Kniemeyer, H.W., Sandmann, W., Schwindt, C. et al. Thrombectomy with arteriovenous fistula for embolizing deep venous thrombosis: an alternative therapy for prevention of recurrent pulmonary embolism. Clin Investig 72, 40–45 (1993).

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Key words

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Venous thrombectomy
  • Caval filter devices
  • Embolizing deep vein thrombosis