Can a new MRI scan predict the success of thrombolysis for DVT?

Multi-sequence MRI characterisation of deep vein thrombosis in man

Alkystis Phinikaridou (lead researcher)

King's College London

Start date: 01 September 2016 (Duration 2 years)

Dr Alkystis Phinikaridou and her team at King’s College London are working out whether a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique they have developed could help doctors treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

A DVT is a blood clot that develops in the deep leg veins, causing pain, swelling and ulceration. If the clot breaks off and blocks a blood vessel in the lungs, it can be life threatening. DVTs are usually treated with anticlotting medicines. But when the clot has formed in the upper leg veins or in the abdominal veins, they are treated by thrombolysis, where a clot busting drug is injected into the vein to dissolve the clot and to re-establish blood flow. However, thrombolysis is not always successful and can have serious side effects, including bleeding. It would be useful if doctors could identify which vein clots are likely to respond to thrombolysis so that patients can be given the appropriate treatment.

Dr Phinikaridou’s new MRI technique measures several different aspects of the blood clot and provides detailed information about its composition. In this project, she will test whether the MRI technique can identify which blood clots are likely to respond to thrombolysis. Patients admitted to the vascular unit will have an MRI scan before receiving thrombolysis for their DVT. The team will then monitor how each clot responds to treatment and look for common features between the clots that do or do not respond, and how this relates to the outcome for each patient.

This research could reveal a quick, non-invasive imaging technique that identifies which people with DVT respond best to different treatments, improving their diagnosis and outlook.

Project details

Grant amount £126,985
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 September 2016
Duration 2 years
Reference PG/15/89/31793
Status In progress

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