Background: The use of thrombolytic therapy in the treatment of thrombosed infrainguinal native arteries and bypass grafts has increased over the years. Main limitation of this treatment modality, however, is the occurrence of bleeding complications. Low intensity ultrasound (US) has been shown to accelerate enzymatic thrombolysis, thereby reducing therapy time. So far, no randomized trials have investigated the application of US-accelerated thrombolysis in the treatment of thrombosed infra-inguinal native arteries or bypass grafts. The DUET study (Dutch randomized trial comparing standard catheter-directed thrombolysis versus Ultrasound-accElerated Thrombolysis for thrombo-embolic infrainguinal disease) is designed to assess whether US-accelerated thrombolysis will reduce therapy time significantly compared with standard catheter-directed thrombolysis.Methods/design: Sixty adult patients with recently (between 1 and 7 weeks) thrombosed infrainguinal native arteries or bypass grafts with acute limb ischemia class I or IIa, according to the Rutherford classification for acute ischemia, will be randomly allocated to either standard thrombolysis (group A) or US-accelerated thrombolysis (group B). Patients will be recruited from 5 teaching hospitals in the Netherlands during a 2-year period. The primary endpoint is the duration of catheter-directed thrombolysis needed for uninterrupted flow in the thrombosed infrainguinal native artery or bypass graft, with outflow through at least 1 crural artery.Discussion: The DUET study is a randomized controlled trial that will provide evidence of whether US-accelerated thrombolysis will significantly reduce therapy time in patients with recently thrombosed infrainguinal native arteries or bypass grafts, without an increase in complications. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN72676102.