Research Article

Effect of ethyloestrenol on fibrinolysis in the vessel wall.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 25 September 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:729
  1. U Hedner,
  2. I M Nilsson,
  3. S Isacson


    Forty-nine patients with decreased fibrinolytic activity in the vessel walls or a decreased release mechanism, or both, were treated with ethyloestrenol for three to 17 months. Forty-five of the patients had had recurrent, phlebographically verified, deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and four had arterial thrombosis. Ethyloestrenol 8 mg/day was given to 31 patients and 4 mg/day was given to 12. The remaining six patients had been treated with a combination of phenformin and ethloestrenol. The phenformin was withdrawn but they were kept on ethyloestrenol 8 mg/day. Another 15 patients with a normal fibrinolytic system--four with recurrent DVT and 11 with severe arteriosclerosis--were given ethyloestrenol 8 mg/day. The spontaneous fibrinolytic activity, local fibrinolytic activity during standardised venous occlusion of the arms, and fibrinolytic activity of the vessel walls increased significantly after treatment with ethyloestrenol 8 mg/day for three months. No further increase occurred after three months, and ethyloestrenol 4 mg/day had no effect. No values rose significantly in the patients with a normal fibrinolytic system. One patient suffered a recurrence within three months of treatment, before the fibrinolytic system became normal. In one patient the fibrinolytic defect reappeared after 10 months in spite of continued treatment. Two of the three women of fertile age developed irregular cycles and intermenstrual bleeding, which disappeared when the treatment was withdrawn. No other side effects were observed.