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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 38

of 'Predictors of coronary artery reocclusion following fibrinolysis (thrombolysis)'

Prevention of coronary artery reocclusion and reduction in late coronary artery stenosis after thrombolytic therapy in patients with acute myocardial infarction. A randomized study of maintenance infusion of recombinant human tissue-type plasminogen activator.
Johns JA, Gold HK, Leinbach RC, Yasuda T, Gimple LW, Werner W, Finkelstein D, Newell J, Ziskind AA, Collen D
Circulation. 1988;78(3):546.
Sixty-eight patients with acute "transmural" myocardial infarction presenting within 6 hours (range, 1.3-5.8 hours) of onset of chest pain were given intravenous recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) at a dosage of 1 mg/kg during 90 minutes. Coronary angiography at 90 minutes revealed a patent infarct-related coronary artery in 52 patients (76%). These patients were randomized either to treatment by continuous infusion of heparin alone (27 patients) or to treatment by heparin and a maintenance infusion of rt-PA at a dosage of 0.8 mg/kg during 4 hours (25 patients). Coronary angiography was repeated 60 minutes after the start of the maintenance infusion and again after 8-14 days. Acute symptomatic reocclusion of the infarct-related artery occurred during the 1-hour observation period in five (19%) patients treated with heparin alone but in none of the patients treated with rt-PA (p = 0.05). The measured residual stenosis of the patent infarct-related coronary artery was similar in the heparin-treated and the rt-PA-treated groups at 90 minutes infusion: 66 +/- 14% versus 68 +/- 13% diameter stenosis, respectively (mean +/- SD) and 1.1 +/- 1.1 mm2 versus 0.82 +/- 0.7 mm2 area (p = 0.35). At 8-14 days after infusion, residual stenosis was unchanged in the heparin-treated group, but it improved to 55 +/- 17% (p = 0.001) and 1.6 +/- 1.2 mm2 (p = 0.003) in the rt-PA-treated group. At 90 minutes of infusion, residual intraluminal thrombus was observed in 29 of the 52 patients (56%) with a comparably measured distribution in the two groups (p = 0.43). At 150 minutes, however, the extent of intraluminal thrombus was significantly reduced in the rt-PA-treated group as compared with the heparin-treated group (p = 0.03). In-hospital ischemic events (symptomatic reocclusion, unstable angina, or cardiovascular death) occurred in 12 patients of the heparin-treated group but only in three patients of the rt-PA-treated group (p = 0.03). Fibrinogen levels decreased to 65 +/- 21% of baseline at 90 minutes of rt-PA infusion. During the rt-PA maintenance infusion, fibrinogen fell slightly from 63 +/- 26 to 57 +/- 28% (p = 0.18). This study shows that after successful reperfusion with 1 mg/kg rt-PA during 90 minutes, a maintenance infusion of 0.8 mg/kg rt-PA during 4 hours prevents acute symptomatic coronary artery reocclusion, and it reduces the frequency of ischemic events and the severity of residual coronary artery stenosis at hospital discharge.
Cardiac Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.