Thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction. A review .
In the past 10 years, thrombolytics have become standard therapy for acute myocardial infarction. Although the ability of streptokinase to lyse clot was first recognised in the 1930s, thrombolytic therapy was not used to treat acute myocardial infarction until the early 1980s, when the importance of thrombosis in the pathogenesis of acute infarction was fully recognised. In addition to streptokinase and urokinase, recombinant human tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and anistreplase were developed and widely used in the 1980s. Saruplase (prourokinase) and BM-06022 (recombinant plasminogen activator) have also undergone human clinical studies. All of these agents are effective at achieving clot lysis and coronary patency. Large, randomised clinical trials have demonstrated that thrombolytic therapy reduces mortality in patients with ST elevation treated within the first 6 to 12 hours of acute infarction, with an approximately 0.5% risk of intracranial haemorrhage. Recent data have more clearly identified which patients benefit from thrombolytic therapy. Efforts have been made to improve the speed of reperfusion, decrease reocclusion, simplify administration and reduce adverse effects. The characteristics of fibrin specificity and more rapid clot lysis with tissue plasminogen activator have not yet been translated into overall clinical benefit compared with the less expensive streptokinase. The lack of close association of improved early patency and improved global left ventricular function with improved survival challenges the very paradigm which led to the use of thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction. The need for development of additional methods for evaluation of new thrombolytic agents is evident.
Granger, CB; Califf, RM; Topol, EJ
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