Donald G. Vidt, MD
Alan W. Bakst, Pharmd, RPH
James H. Stewart, MD
Jeffrey W. Olin, DOAddress reprint requests to J.W.O., Department of Peripheral Vascular Disease, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, One Clinic Center, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Robert A. Graor, MD
Despite the discovery of thrombolytic agents more than 50 years ago, only recently has major interest become evident in their use to treat myocardial infarction, venous thromboembolism, and peripheral arterial disease. Use of thrombolytic drugs may result in myocardial and limb salvage as well as improved survival rates and quality of life for patients affected by potentially devastating vascular disease. We review historical highlights, outstanding studies, and important aspects of thrombolytic therapy, emphasizing its use in peripheral vascular disease.