Pericardial effusion after intravenous recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator for acute myocardial infarction.
The effect of thrombolytic therapy on the frequency, time course and sequelae of pericardial effusion after myocardial infarction are unknown. A prospective, serial, 2-dimensional echocardiographic study of patients with myocardial infarction who received recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) was undertaken to address this issue. The study population comprised 52 of the 112 patients enrolled in the first Thrombolysis and Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction trial at Duke University Medical Center. Enrollment in the serial echocardiography protocol was determined by equipment and support staff availability. Complete echocardiographic studies were performed within 90 minutes after initiation of thrombolytic therapy (day 0), and on days 1, 3 and 6. Patients undergoing serial echocardiography did not differ in demographic or clinical characteristics from those who did not. Pericardial effusion was present in 3 of 38 patients (8%) at day 0, in 2 of 44 (5%) at day 1, in 8 of 43 (19%) at day 3, and in 10 of 42 (24%) at day 6. By day 6, 3 of 10 pericardial effusions were moderate in size, 1 of 10 was large and the remainder were small. No patients developed echocardiographic or hemodynamic signs of cardiac tamponade. The prevalence and time course of pericardial effusion among patients with acute myocardial infarction who received rt-PA in this study are similar to observations reported in earlier studies in which patients did not receive thrombolytic therapy. Adverse sequelae of pericardial effusion after thrombolytic therapy are rare.
Belkin, RN; Mark, DB; Aronson, L; Szwed, H; Califf, RM; Kisslo, J
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