Ultrasound-Guided Thrombin Injection Is a Safe and Durable Treatment for Femoral Pseudoaneurysms

William C. Calton, David P. Franklin, James R. Elmore, David C. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Ultrasound-guided percutaneous thrombin injection has recently been described as a treatment for postcatheterization femoral pseudoaneurysms. Although ultrasound guided compression offers another nonoperative treatment option, thrombin injection has shown superior initial success rates. Reports of follow-up for thrombin injection longer than 30 days are currently lacking. The authors reviewed their initial experience with thrombin injection and prospectively evaluated patients for occult late recurrences of pseudoaneurysm and for distal circulatory complications. Records and vascular laboratory data for all patients treated with ultrasound-guided thrombin injection were reviewed for an 18-month period. Tibial vessel Doppler waveforms and ankle/brachial indices were routinely obtained before and after thrombin injection. Follow-up duplex examinations were performed within 24 hours of initial treatment. In the prospective portion of the study, successfully treated patients underwent a repeat femoral duplex scan and lower extremity arterial examination for comparison with the pretreatment studies. Forty-nine of 52 femoral pseudoaneurysms (94%) were successfully treated with ultrasound guided thrombin injection. One immediate failure and 2 early recurrences were treated surgically. There was 1 thrombotic complication of the native circulation identified at the time of injection. Follow-up studies were obtained in 32 of 46 available patients with a mean length of follow-up of 9 months (range 3-17 months). No late recurrences of the pseudoaneurysms or arterial-venous fistulas were observed. No distal circulatory complications were detected by arterial waveform analysis. Three deaths occurred in the interim (cardiac related). Two patients were lost to follow-up. The remaining 12 patients reported no additional limb complications but declined to be restudied. Ultrasound-guided thrombin injection is a safe, effective, and durable treatment for iatrogenic pseudoaneurysms. Thrombin injection should be the therapy of choice for catheter-related femoral false aneurysms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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