Non-invasive imaging techniques for the differentiation of acute and chronic thrombosis.

Research paper by Nur Nazifah Mohd NNM Yusof, Andrew A McCann, Peter J PJ Little, Hang T HT Ta

Indexed on: 28 May '19Published on: 29 Mar '19Published in: Thrombosis Research


Thrombosis is the localized clotting of blood that can occur in both the arterial and venous circulation. It is a key factor in the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction and stroke and the primary cause of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Rapid and accurate diagnosis of thrombotic episodes is crucial in reducing the morbidity and potential mortality associated with arterial and venous thrombotic disorders by allowing early targeted therapeutic interventions. From a clinical perspective the ability to accurately assess the age and composition of thrombus is highly desirable given that anticoagulation and, in particular, fibrinolytic therapies are more effective in treating acute rather than chronic thrombosis. While there are no imaging tests used in routine clinical practice that can reliably determine the age of thrombus and differentiate between acute and chronic thrombosis there are several emerging non-invasive techniques that can provide an indication of the age of a thrombus depending on its location in the body. Examples of techniques developed for venous thrombosis include Doppler imaging with venous duplex ultrasonography, ultrasound B-mode imaging integrated with IER (intrinsic mode functions-based echogenicity ratio), elastography, scintigraphy imaging with Tc-recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (Tc-rt-PA), and magnetic resonance direct thrombus imaging (MDRTI). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to noninvasively detect and differentiate acute and chronic arterial and venous thrombosis. These methods have limitations that need further investigation to enable cost-effective and clinically relevant treatment practices to be established in the future. This review will discuss the difference between acute and chronic thrombosis and the role of non-invasive imaging techniques in discriminating between the two. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.