Research Article

Feasibility, safety, and efficacy of domiciliary thrombolysis by general practitioners: Grampian region early anistreplase trial. GREAT Group.

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: (Published 05 September 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:548


OBJECTIVE--To assess the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of domiciliary thrombolysis by general practitioners. DESIGN--Randomised double blind parallel group trial of anistreplase 30 units intravenously and placebo given either at home or in hospital. SETTING--29 rural practices in Grampian admitting patients to teaching hospitals in Aberdeen (average distance 36 (range 16-62) miles). PATIENTS--311 patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction and no contraindications to thrombolytic therapy seen at home within four hours of onset of symptoms. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Time saving, adverse events, Q wave infarction, left ventricular function. RESULTS--Anistreplase was administered at home 101 minutes after onset of symptoms, while anistreplase was given in hospital 240 minutes after onset of symptoms (median times). Adverse events after thrombolysis were infrequent and, apart from cardiac arrest, not a serious problem when they occurred in the community: seven of 13 patients were resuscitated after cardiac arrest out of hospital. By three months after trial entry the relative reduction of deaths from all causes in patients given thrombolytic therapy at home was 49% (13/163 (8.0%) v 23/148 (15.5%); difference -7.6% (95% confidence interval -14.7% to -0.4%), p = 0.04). Full thickness Q wave infarction was less common in patients with confirmed infarction receiving treatment at home (65/122 (53.3%) v 76/112 (67.9%); difference -14.6% (95% confidence interval -27.0% to -2.2%), p = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS--General practitioners provided rapid pre-hospital coronary care of a high standard. Compared with later administration in hospital, giving anistreplase at home resulted in reduction in mortality, fewer cardiac arrests, fewer Q wave infarcts, and better left ventricular function. Benefits were most marked where thrombolytic therapy was administered within two hours of the onset of symptoms.