High dose urokinase for restoration of patency of occluded permanent central venous catheters in hemodialysis patients

L. Shavit, M. Lifschitz, J. Plaksin, T. Grenader, I. Slotki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Catheter thrombosis is common and results in inadequate dialysis treatment and, frequently, in catheter loss. Since dialysis treatment runs on a strict schedule, occluded catheters need to be restored in a timely and cost effective manner. We present a new shortened protocol of urokinase infusion that allows hemodialysis to be performed within 90 minutes. Methods: To chronic hemodialysis patients, who developed complete catheter occlusion, urokinase was infused simultaneously through both lumens of the catheter (125,000 units to each lumen) over 90 minutes. Technical success was defined as restoring blood pump speed to at least 250 ml/min. We determined the average time from catheter placement to first clot event (primary patency PP), recurrent clot event after urokinase treatment (secondary patency SP), catheter salvage rate and cause for removal. Results: 37 catheters developed total thrombosis and urokinase was used to restore patency one or more times (total 47 treatments). Catheter salvage rate was 97 %. The average time of PP was 152 ± 56 days (7 - 784 days). Nine patients (30%) developed recurrent occlusion and the average time of SP was 64 ± 34 days (2 - 364 days). One catheter was removed because of dysfunction due to thrombosis. Other catheters were removed due to infection, fistula maturation or fell out spontaneously. Hemodialysis was performed immediately after treatment with blood speed of 250 ml/min in all patients. Conclusion: Our protocol is highly effective, short, and allows to restore patency of totally occluded central venous catheters with minimal disruption of the dialysis session.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemodialysis
  • Total thrombosis
  • Tunneled central vein catheter
  • Urokinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'High dose urokinase for restoration of patency of occluded permanent central venous catheters in hemodialysis patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this