Prevention of coronary artery reocclusion and reduction in late coronary artery stenosis after thrombolytic therapy in patients with acute myocardial infarction. A randomized study of maintenance infusion of recombinant human tissue-type plasminogen activator.
Sixty-eight patients with acute "transmural" myocardial infarction presenting within 6 hours (range, 1.3-5.8 hours) of onset of chest pain were given intravenous recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) at a dosage of 1 mg/kg during 90 minutes. Coronary angiography at 90 minutes revealed a patent infarct-related coronary artery in 52 patients (76%). These patients were randomized either to treatment by continuous infusion of heparin alone (27 patients) or to treatment by heparin and a maintenance infusion of rt-PA at a dosage of 0.8 mg/kg during 4 hours (25 patients). Coronary angiography was repeated 60 minutes after the start of the maintenance infusion and again after 8-14 days. Acute symptomatic reocclusion of the infarct-related artery occurred during the 1-hour observation period in five (19%) patients treated with heparin alone but in none of the patients treated with rt-PA (p = 0.05). The measured residual stenosis of the patent infarct-related coronary artery was similar in the heparin-treated and the rt-PA-treated groups at 90 minutes infusion: 66 +/- 14% versus 68 +/- 13% diameter stenosis, respectively (mean +/- SD) and 1.1 +/- 1.1 mm2 versus 0.82 +/- 0.7 mm2 area (p = 0.35). At 8-14 days after infusion, residual stenosis was unchanged in the heparin-treated group, but it improved to 55 +/- 17% (p = 0.001) and 1.6 +/- 1.2 mm2 (p = 0.003) in the rt-PA-treated group. At 90 minutes of infusion, residual intraluminal thrombus was observed in 29 of the 52 patients (56%) with a comparably measured distribution in the two groups (p = 0.43). At 150 minutes, however, the extent of intraluminal thrombus was significantly reduced in the rt-PA-treated group as compared with the heparin-treated group (p = 0.03). In-hospital ischemic events (symptomatic reocclusion, unstable angina, or cardiovascular death) occurred in 12 patients of the heparin-treated group but only in three patients of the rt-PA-treated group (p = 0.03). Fibrinogen levels decreased to 65 +/- 21% of baseline at 90 minutes of rt-PA infusion. During the rt-PA maintenance infusion, fibrinogen fell slightly from 63 +/- 26 to 57 +/- 28% (p = 0.18). This study shows that after successful reperfusion with 1 mg/kg rt-PA during 90 minutes, a maintenance infusion of 0.8 mg/kg rt-PA during 4 hours prevents acute symptomatic coronary artery reocclusion, and it reduces the frequency of ischemic events and the severity of residual coronary artery stenosis at hospital discharge.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association