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The Beat:
A Bryan Heart Blog

The Beat is a monthly blog from Bryan Heart cardiologists to keep you informed on trending topics, advancements and news in heart care.

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To refer a patient to a Bryan Heart cardiologist or surgeon, call 402-483-3333.

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Advances in Pulmonary Embolism Treatment

Written by John Steuter, MD

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common condition that nearly all medical professions encounter throughout their career. In cases of submassive or massive pulmonary embolism, this may lead to a strain on the heart’s ability to pump blood through the lungs which can then lead to heart failure and/or cardiovascular collapse. PEs can be immediately fatal and are responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Early Diagnosis & Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism Could Drasticly Reduce Mortality

If a PE can be diagnosed and appropriate therapy started, the mortality can be reduced from approximately 30 percent to less than 10 percent.

Systemic thrombolytics has been a treatment option available for some time, however the risk of thrombolytics and life threatening bleeding has led to many patients not being candidates for this treatment.

EkoSonic Endovascular System: Successfully & Safely Treating PE Patients

The EkoSonic Endovascular System (EKOS) is the only endovascular device cleared by the FDA for the treatment of PE. EKOS has successfully and safely treated patients with acute, massive and sub-massive PE.

The EkoSonic Endovascular System used in conjunction with a thrombolytic drug:

  • Dissolves clots
  • Restores healthy heart function and blood flow
  • Improves right ventricular function and pulmonary artery pressure
  • Minimizes the risk of bleeding


How the EkoSonic Endovascular System Works

EKOS Endovascular System generates ultrasonic energy waves, which emit high frequency, low power ultrasound at the treatment zone. The ultrasound emits radially into and through blood, thrombus, or tissue surrounding the treatment zone, within the patient’s vasculature.

The system makes the clot become permeable. Ultrasound pressure drives the physician specified thrombolytic agent through the permeated thrombus.

The EKOS Catheter is different from other catheters because it is able to deliver drugs effectively to the source of the clot. The acoustic pressure generated thus allows the physician recommended thrombolytic agent to remain embedded at the local site of the thrombus for a longer period of time, increasing the efficiency and decreasing systemic risks of bleeding.

Proven Results

The Seattle II trial demonstrated that ultrasound-facilitated, catheter-directed, low-dose fibrinolysis for acute PE improves RV function and decreases pulmonary hypertension and angiographic obstruction at the same time minimizing the risk of intracranial bleed.

EkoSonic Endovascular System Offered at Bryan Heart

At Bryan Heart we are proud to offer this advanced treatment strategy for patients that suffer from a pulmonary embolism. For more information or to refer at patient please call, 402-483-3333.


steuter john

About John Steuter, MD

John Steuter, MD, is a cardiologist at Bryan Heart. Steuter is a graduate of The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine and joined Bryan Heart in 2015 after completing his residency and fellowship at The University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine.

View Dr. Steuter’s physician profile


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