Washington, Nov 24 : A research team led by an Indian origin scientist suggests that using ultrasound waves along with clot-busting drugs can effectively treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
A DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body, most often in the lower leg or thigh.
A loose clot, called an embolus, can break off and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and block blood flow. The life-threatening condition is called pulmonary embolism.
"These clots are a main cause of both heart attacks and stroke and the more quickly you can eliminate them the better," said Dr Karthikeshwar Kasirajan, assistant professor of surgery in the Emory University School of Medicine.
"We now know that using ultrasound, along with the traditional method of using drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots, will help restore flow, prevent valve damage and also prevent the possibility of pulmonary embolism," he added.
During the study, the researchers treated 37 patients with the clot-dissolving drug called tPA, while using ultrasound to loosen the proteins in their blood clots and send the drug into the clots faster.
Of the 37, 16 had DVT and 21 had acute in-situ arterial thrombosis.
All the patients with arterial thrombosis had their clots completely dissolved, and all but six of the DVT patients had theirs completely dissolved.
However, four DVT patients had their clots partially dissolved and two saw no change.
The study was presented at the annual VEITH symposium in New York City.