Enhancement of thrombolysis with tissue-type plasminogen activator by pretreatment with heparin.
The effect of pretreatment with heparin on lysis of arterial thrombi by tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) was studied in 19 dogs. Copper coil-induced carotid artery thrombi were weighed, inserted into the femoral arteries, and exposed to a 15 min infusion of rt-PA at 10 micrograms/kg/min either with (n = 6 thrombi) or without pretreatment with a 200 unit/kg bolus of heparin (n = 6 thrombi). The infusion of rt-PA without pretreatment reduced the thrombus weight by 27.6 +/- 7.4%, while infusion of rt-PA with pretreatment reduced it by 79.1 +/- 12.3% (p less than .0001). To test the hypothesis that heparin enhanced thrombolysis by preventing continued incorporation of new fibrin into the thrombus during thrombolysis we repeated the experiments using pretreatment with 8 U/kg of ancrod, which rapidly depletes fibrinogen. Pretreatment with ancrod (n = 6 thrombi) depleted fibrinogen and enhanced the lytic effect of rt-PA to a similar degree as pretreatment with heparin, resulting in a 67.6 +/- 12.3% (NS) decrease in thrombus weight. We conclude that heparin significantly enhances the thrombolytic effect of rt-PA, probably by preventing new fibrin formation and its incorporation into the thrombus during lysis.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association