Mechanism of benefit of combination thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: a quantitative angiographic and hematologic study.
OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to lend insight into the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of combination thrombolytic therapy. BACKGROUND: Combination thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction has been associated with less reocclusion and fewer in-hospital clinical events than has monotherapy. METHODS: Infarct-related quantitative coronary dimensions and hemostatic protein levels were evaluated in 287 patients with acute myocardial infarction during the early (90-min) and convalescent (7-day) phases after administration of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA), urokinase or combination rt-PA and urokinase. RESULTS: Minimal lumen diameter was similar in the 90-min and 7-day phases after treatment with rt-PA, urokinase and combination rt-PA and urokinase (0.72 +/- 0.45 mm, 0.62 +/- 0.53 mm and 0.75 +/- 0.58 mm, respectively, at 90 min, p = 0.16; and 1.05 +/- 0.56 mm, 1.12 +/- 0.72 mm and 0.94 +/- 0.54 mm, respectively, at 7 days, p = 0.22). In-hospital clinical event and reocclusion rates were less frequent in patients receiving combination therapy than in those receiving monotherapy (25% vs. 38% and 32% for rt-PA and urokinase, respectively, p = 0.084; and 3% vs. 13% and 9% for rt-PA and urokinase, respectively, p = 0.03), but these events were unrelated to early or late coronary dimensions. Patients receiving combination therapy or urokinase monotherapy had significantly higher peak fibrin degradation products (1,307 +/- 860 and 1,285 +/- 898 micrograms/ml vs. 435 +/- 717 micrograms/ml, respectively, p < 0.0001) and lower nadir fibrinogen levels (0.85 +/- 1.00 and 0.75 +/- 0.53 g/liter vs. 1.90 +/- 0.86 g/liter, respectively, p < 0.0001) than did those receiving rt-PA monotherapy. Peak fibrinogen degradation products indirectly correlated (p = 0.004) and baseline (p = 0.026) and nadir (p = 0.089) fibrinogen levels directly correlated with reocclusion. CONCLUSIONS: Lower in-hospital clinical event and reocclusion rates observed with combination thrombolytic therapy may relate to systemic hematologic factors rather than to the residual lumen obstruction after thrombolysis.
Popma, JJ; Califf, RM; Ellis, SG; George, BS; Kereiakes, DJ; Samaha, JK; Worley, SJ; Anderson, JL; Stump, D; Woodlief, L
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