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Thrombolysis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Susanta Pradhan 87% (24 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Bhubaneswar  •  18 years experience
Thrombolysis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Formation of blood clots in the arteries of the lungs, heart or legs can actually kill a person. In such a case, the immediate medical action is necessary and the only way to deal with blood clots is thrombolysis.
Thrombolysis or thrombolytic therapy is a medical process that dissolves blood clots and facilitates blood flow to all parts of the body. Thus, it protects tissues and muscles from damage.

What are the causes of blood clots in the body?

• Poor blood circulation
• Conditions such as Deep Venous Thrombosis and atrial fibrillation
• Blood clots can also be formed because of dialysis catheters and by-pass grafts

How can you tell if you have blood clots?

• Swelling in one or more legs
• Cramp and tenderness in the legs
• Breathing trouble might indicate that blood clots have travelled to the lungs
Sweating and frequent chest pain may suggest that blood clots have travelled to the heart

How is Thrombolysis performed?

Thrombolytic drugs are injected into the body intravenously. They make their way to where the blood clots exist and dissolve them. If there is a medical emergency, the drugs are delivered to the exact location of the blood clots and immediately start dissolving them. Another method is inserting a device into the blood clot infested region to break the clots up. The drugs which on entering the body dissolve blood clots are called thrombolytics. There are many varieties of thrombolytics such as the following-

Streptokinase - It is a kind of enzyme. It is used when a person has just suffered a heart attack or pulmonary embolism. Doctors do not usually prescribe the second usage of this drug. It is injected into a vein and can be administered to pregnant women.

Tenecteplase - Also an enzyme, it is a plasminogen activator. When it binds to the surface of the blood clot, it makes the clot degenerate.

Reteplase - It is actually extracted from E-Coli. It is a sterile intravenous bolus injection

The leading cause of heart attacks and ischemic heart disorder is the formation of blood clots in the arteries that connect the heart and the brain. Thrombolysis is often employed as an emergency treatment for this purpose. Thrombolysis is also effective against blood clots formed in the lungs (which lead to acute pulmonary embolism). Sometimes blood clots are formed in the legs, upper extremities of the body, the pelvic region (deep vein thrombosis). These clots may travel to the lungs and heart.

Consult your doctor before undergoing the treatment.

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