Papers And Originals

Streptokinase Therapy in Acute Major Pulmonary Embolism: Effectiveness and Problems

Br Med J 1968; 4 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.4.5633.729 (Published 21 December 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;4:729
  1. J. Hirsh,
  2. G. S. Hale,
  3. I. G. McDonald,
  4. R. A. McCarthy,
  5. A. Pitt

    Abstract

    Eighteen patients with major pulmonary embolism were treated with streptokinase infused by a catheter or given intravenously. Fourteen showed clinical improvement and 12 out of 16 patients investigated showed definite angiographic improvement after 24 to 48 hours of treatment with streptokinase. The angiographic improvement following streptokinase contrasted with the lack of this in three patients after 24 hours of heparin treatment.

    Resolution following streptokinase therapy was most noticeable in patients treated shortly after a single embolic episode, and was least marked in those with recurrent embolism complicated by associated cardiac or pulmonary disease. Of the four patients who failed to improve, two died and two had pulmonary embolectomy and survived.

    The results suggest that streptokinase therapy is practicable provided that adequate laboratory control is available, and that it hastens early resolution in acute major pulmonary embolism.