Intraventricular thrombolysis speeds blood clot resolution: Results of a pilot, prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial

Neal J. Naff, Daniel F. Hanley, Penelope M. Keyl, Stanley Tuhrim, Michael Kraut, Joshua Bederson, Ross Bullock, Stephan A. Mayer, Eric Schmutzhard, Warren R. Selman, William F. Chandler, Hugh Garton, Christopher J. Chittum, Stephen J. Haines, J. Max Findlay, Robert G. Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Animal models and clinical studies suggest that intraventricular thrombolysis improves clot resolution and clinical outcomes among patients with intraventricular hemorrhage. However, this intervention may increase the rates of rebleeding and infection. To assess the safety and efficacy of intraventricular thrombolysis, we conducted a pilot, randomized, double-blind, controlled, multicenter study. METHODS: Patients with intraventricular hemorrhage requiring ventriculostomy were randomized to receive intraventricular injections of normal saline solution or urokinase (25,000 international units) at 12-hour intervals. Injections continued until ventricular drainage was discontinued according to prespecified clinical criteria. Head computed tomographic scans were obtained daily, for quantitative determinations of intraventricular hemorrhage volumes. The rate of clot resolution was estimated for each group. RESULTS: Twelve subjects were enrolled (urokinase, seven patients; placebo, five patients). Commercial withdrawal of urokinase precluded additional enrollment. The urokinase and placebo groups were similar with respect to age (49.6 versus 55.2 yr, P = 0.43) and presenting Glasgow Coma Scale scores (7.14 versus 8.00, P = 0.72). Randomization to the urokinase treatment arm (P = 0.02) and female sex (P = 0.008) favorably affected the clot resolution rate. The sex-adjusted clot half-life for the urokinase-treated group was reduced 44.6%, compared with the value for the placebo group (4.69 versus 8.48 d). CONCLUSION: Intraventricular thrombolysis with urokinase speeds the resolution of intraventricular blood clots, compared with treatment with ventricular drainage alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-584
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • External ventricular drainage
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Thrombolysis
  • Urokinase


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