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Papers And Short Reports

A randomised dose ranging study of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator in acute myocardial infarction

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 25 June 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1768
  1. A J McNeill,
  2. J S Shannon,
  3. S R Cunningham,
  4. D J Flannery,
  5. N P S Campbell,
  6. M M Khan,
  7. G C Patterson,
  8. S W Webb,
  9. A A J Adgey


    To assess the thrombolytic efficacy and the effect on the systemic fibrinolytic system of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator doses of 20 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg were compared in a randomised study. Tissue plasminogen activator was infused intravenously over 90 minutes in 50 consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction of four hours' duration or less; on average the infusion was started 135 minutes (range 20 to 240) after the onset of pain. The affected artery was patent at the end of the 90 minute infusion in 14/17 (82%) of those who received 100 mg, 12/17 (71%) of those who received 50 mg, and 8/16 (50%) of those who received 20 mg. Regardless of dose, reperfusion rates were significantly better for patients treated within two hours of the onset of symptoms (81%) than for those treated in the third and fourth hours (54%). At the end of the infusion serum fibrinogen concentrations fell to 86% of the preinfusion value after 20 mg, 75% after 50 mg, and 63% after 100 mg, and similar dose dependent changes occurred in plasminogen, α2 anti-plasmin, and fibrinogen and fibrin degradation products. The mean infarct related regional third ejection fraction was 46% for patients with grade 2 or 3 reperfusion and 35% for those with grade 0 or 1. Ventricular fibrillation occurred in six (12%) patients during the infusion of tissue plasminogen activator, but no late ventricular fibrillation occurred. Bleeding was minimal, reocclusion occurred in three patients, and four patients died from cardiac causes.

    Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is an effective thrombolytic agent which produces better reperfusion rates after a 50 or 100 mg dose than after a 20 mg dose. The effect on the systemic fibrinolytic system is dose dependent. Successful reperfusion results in improvement of left ventricular function.