In this technique, the interventional radiologist guides a catheter through the blood vessels and to the site of a blood clot. Clot-busting drugs are infused through the catheter to break up the clot.
This technique is most often used when a blood clot is detected in the blood vessels of the leg (a condition called deep vein thrombosis). The interventional radiologist guides a small filter into the blood vessel that receives blood from the lower body (the vena cava) and carries it to the heart. If the blood clot dislodges from the vein in the leg, the filter will trap it before it can reach the heart.