Thrombolysis in patients with unstable angina improves the angiographic but not the clinical outcome. Results of UNASEM, a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial with anistreplase.
BACKGROUND The value of thrombolytic therapy in unstable angina is unclear.
METHODS AND RESULTS To study this problem, 159 patients were studied in a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. Patients without a previous myocardial infarction, with a typical history of unstable angina, and ECG abnormalities indicative of ischemia were included. After baseline angiography, study medication (anistreplase or placebo) was given. Angiography was repeated after 12-28 hours. A significant decrease occurred in diameter stenosis between the first and second angiogram in the anistreplase group compared with the placebo group (11% versus 3%, p = 0.008). This difference was caused by reopening of occluded vessels in the thrombolytic group. However, no beneficial clinical effects of thrombolytic treatment were found. Bleeding complications were significantly higher in patients who received thrombolytic therapy (21 versus seven patients, p = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS Thus, angiographic but no clinical improvement after thrombolytic treatment with anistreplase was found in patients with unstable angina with an excess of bleeding complications. Therefore, thrombolytic treatment cannot be recommended in patients diagnosed as having unstable angina until proven otherwise.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association