Emergency thrombolysis in acute myocardial infarction

Magda Heras, James H. Chesebro, Bernard G. Gersh, David R. Holmes, Michael B. Mock, Valentin Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The goal of thrombolytic treatment in acute myocardial infarction is to reestablish permanent blood flow, salvage ischemic myocardium, and reduce mortality. If patency is achieved sufficiently early and is maintained, left ventricular function is preserved and mortality decreases. The recent experience with tissue plasminogen activator and streptokinase in the TIMI I trial is reviewed with specific attention to reperfusion, reocclusion, and bleeding. Other studies concerning left ventricular preservation and mortality are also discussed. Current guidelines for antithrombotic therapy and thrombolysis are discussed. It is extremely important to adequately select patients to avoid side effects. Thorough lysis of the thrombus must be achieved to reduce the risk of rethrombosis. Simultaneous heparin should be administered to treat ongoing thrombosis. Additional antithrombotic therapy with aspirin and acute vasodilation to reduce vasoconstriction probably also decrease the likelihood of reocclusion. Because this treatment predisposes to bleeding, extreme care should be taken to avoid vascular punctures and invasive procedures in these patients. The association of immediate percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty has not been beneficial in preventing further events; on the contrary, adverse effects have been associated with this acute intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1168-1175
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1988


  • myocardial infarction
  • thrombolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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