Effect of serum total cholesterol on hemorrhagic complications following thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction

Journal Article

Despite the well-known and widely publicized adverse effects of hypercholesterolemia on the cardiovascular system, cholesterol is a vital component of cellular membranes, maintaining vascular integrity and normal platelet activatability. To test the hypothesis that a low serum total cholesterol concentration increases bleeding risk following thrombolytic therapy, a comparison of in-hospital hemorrhagic events was made between 132 patients with myocardial infarction divided into three distinct groups. Group 1 patients (n = 44) had an admitting serum total cholesterol of < 200 mg/dl, while group 2 (n = 57) and group 3 (n = 31) patients had cholesterol levels of 200-249 and ≥ 250 mg/dl, respectively. There were no significant differences between groups in either minor hemorrhagic events (p = 0.85), major hemorrhagic events (p = 0.73) or transfusion requirements (p = 0.45). In addition, the primary sites of bleeding did not differ. Over the 2-year study period, a total of four intracerebral events were identified. As with minor and other major hemorrhagic events, an association with serum total cholesterol and intracerebral hemorrhage was not observed (p = 0.29). However, advanced age (> 65 years; p = 0.04) and a total dose of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator in excess of 1.5 mg/kg body weight (p < 0.001) were identified by multivariate analysis as risk factors for intracerebral hemorrhage. Thus, although cholesterol is vital for maintaining vascular integrity and normal hemostasis, relatively low serum levels are not a risk factor for hemorrhagic complications following thrombolytic therapy.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caputo, R; Corrao, JM; Lew, R; Becker, RC

Published Date

  • 1991

Published In

  • Cardiology

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 211 - 218