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Outcome of Recent Thromboembolic Occlusions of Limb Arteries Treated with Streptokinase

Br Med J 1970; 4 doi: (Published 12 December 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;4:639
  1. A. Amery,
  2. W. Deloof,
  3. J. Vermylen,
  4. M. Verstraete


    All our patients with a recent thromboembolic occlusion of limb arteries treated with streptokinase have been reviewed retrospectively. Clearing of the main artery, as judged by arteriography or reappearance of arterial pulsations, occurred more often when treatment was started early. If only patients with an iliac, femoral, or popliteal artery occlusion are considered, those who received a lower initial dose had a significantly higher clearing rate and a significantly lower mortality than those who received a high initial dose (500,000 units of streptokinase or more). Therefore an initial standard dose of 1,200,000 units of streptokinase is no longer recommended in these conditions, and even an individually titrated initial dose of more than half a million units could be hazardous. If no neurological abnormalities were present on admission amputation was never necessary, even if clearing of the main artery did not occur. If there was sensory loss of at least part of a limb, amputation was avoided only if the pulsations returned in at least one artery of hand or foot.