Intended for healthcare professionals

Papers And Originals

Comparison of Streptokinase and Heparin in Treatment of Isolated Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism

Br Med J 1971; 2 doi: (Published 19 June 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;2:681
  1. G. A. H. Miller,
  2. G. C. Sutton,
  3. I. H. Kerr,
  4. R. V. Gibson,
  5. M. Honey


    Massive pulmonary embolism was confirmed by pulmonary arteriography in 23 patients. All were seen between 2 and 48 hours after the onset of embolism and none had pre-existing cardiorespiratory disease. Fifteen were treated with streptokinase and eight with heparin. Factors which might influence prognosis and rate of resolution were similar in the patients in each group, and there was no significant difference between the groups in terms of pretreatment haemodynamic or arteriographic findings. Haemodynamic and arteriographic findings after treatment for 72 hours provided an objective measurement of resolution, which was significantly greater in the streptokinase-treated patients. There was no mortality in either group, but treatment had to be changed in two heparin-treated patients because of clinical deterioration. The principal complication of treatment, seen more often in the streptokinase-treated patients, was bleeding from cut-down or operation sites.


    • * This study forms part of an M.D. thesis submitted to the University of Cambridge by one of us (G. C. S.).