Randomized comparison of direct thrombin inhibition versus heparin in conjunction with fibrinolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: Results from the GUSTO-Ilb trial


Journal Article

Objectives. We sought to show that hirudin might interact differently with streptokinase (SK) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), which could reduce the incidence of death or reinfarction at 30 days. Background. In a large-scale trial of patients with acute coronary syndromes, hirudin provided modest benefit compared with heparin. However, the interaction with thrombolytic agents was not specifically assessed. Methods. Patients with symptoms of acute myocardial infarction and electrocardiographic ST segment elevation were treated with thrombolytic therapy and randomly assigned to receive hirudin or heparin. Results. A total of 2,274 patients received t- PA, and 1,015 received SK. Baseline characteristics were balanced by antithrombin assignment. Among SK-treated patients, death or reinfarction at 30 days occurred more often in those treated with adjunctive heparin (14.4%) rather than hirudin (8.6%, odds ratio [OR] 1.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20 to 2.66, p = 0.004). Among t-PA-treated patients, the rates were 10.9% with heparin and 10.3% with hirudin (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.38, p = 0.68; for treatment heterogeneity: chi-square 4.20, degrees of freedom [df] 1, p = 0.04). After adjustment for baseline differences between thrombolytic groups, the rates were 9.1% for SK with hirudin, 10.3% for t-PA with hirudin, 10.5% for t-PA with heparin and 14.9% for SK with heparin (for treatment heterogeneity: chisquare 4.5, df 1, p = 0.03), suggesting that the beneficial treatment effect of hirudin was limited to the SK-treated patients. Conclusions. Hirudin interacts favorably with SK but not t-PA, highlighting the importance of thrombin activity after SK therapy and the potential for simulating the effects of a more potent fibrinolytic agent through direct antithrombin therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Metz, BK; White, HD; Granger, CB; Simes, RJ; Armstrong, PW; Hirsh, J; Fuster, V; MacAulay, CM; Califf, RM; Topol, EJ

Published Date

  • June 1, 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1493 - 1498

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-1097

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S0735-1097(98)00138-7

Citation Source

  • Scopus