Guidelines for the use of intravenous thrombolytic agents in acute myocardial infarction. Ontario Medical Association Consensus Group on Thrombolytic Therapy.
A consensus group convened under the auspices of the Ontario Medical Association produced guidelines for the use of intravenous thrombolytic agents in acute myocardial infarction. The guidelines, updated to December 1988, include the following points. 1) Any hospital that routinely accepts the responsibility for looking after patients with acute myocardial infarction could offer thrombolytic therapy if monitoring facilities are available and if the staff are experienced in the treatment of cardiac rhythm disturbances. 2) Before treatment, all patients must be carefully screened for factors predisposing to hemorrhagic complications. 3) A physician should be clearly designated as responsible for the care of the patient receiving an infusion and be available in the event of problems. 4) For the two approved agents the usual dosages are as follows: streptokinase, 1.5 million units given over 1 hour; and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), 100 mg over 3 hours, delivered as 60 mg in the first hour (of which 6 to 7 mg should be given as a bolus in the first 1 to 2 minutes) and then an infusion of 20 mg/h over the next 2 hours. 5) Intravenous thrombolytics should be considered for any patient with presumed acute myocardial infarction, as suggested by prolonged chest pain or other appropriate symptoms and typical electrocardiographic changes. Expeditious treatment is critical, since myocardial necrosis occurs within hours. 6) Emergency angiography is indicated for patients with hemodynamic compromise and no apparent response to streptokinase or tPA and in those with recurrent chest pain suggestive of acute myocardial infarction despite an apparent response to intravenous thrombolysis. Angiography before discharge is recommended for patients with postinfarction angina or evidence from noninvasive testing of significant residual ischemic risk. 7) There is insufficient evidence to choose between streptokinase and tPA on the basis of the two most important outcome measures: patient survival and myocardial preservation. More conclusive evidence comparing tPA, streptokinase and another promising agent, acylated plasminogen-streptokinase activator complex, will be available in 1989-90.
Naylor, CD; Armstrong, PW
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