Abstract

Cannon, C. P., McCabe, C. H., Diver, D. J., Herson, S., Greene, R. M., Shah, P. K., Sequeira, R. F., Leya, F., Kirshenbaum, J. M., Magorien, R. D., et al., Comparison of front-loaded recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator, anistreplase and combination thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: results of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 4 trial J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994;24:1602-10.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to determine a superior thrombolytic regimen from three: anistreplase (APSAC), front-loaded recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) or combination thrombolytic therapy.

BACKGROUND: Although thrombolytic therapy has been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity after acute myocardial infarction, it has not been clear whether more aggressive thrombolytic-antithrombotic regimens could improve the outcome achieved with standard regimens.

METHODS: To address this issue, 382 patients with acute myocardial infarction were randomized to receive in a double-blind fashion (along with intravenous heparin and aspirin) APSAC, front-loaded rt-PA or a combination of both agents. The primary end point "unsatisfactory outcome" was a composite clinical end point assessed through hospital discharge.

RESULTS: Patency of the infarct-related artery (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] grade 2 or 3 flow) at 60 min after the start of thrombolysis was significantly higher in rt-PA-treated patients (77.8% vs. 59.5% for APSAC-treated patients and 59.3% for combination-treated patients [rt-PA vs. APSAC, p = 0.02; rt-PA vs. combination, p = 0.03]). At 90 min, the incidence of both infarct-related artery patency and TIMI grade 3 flow was significantly higher in rt-PA-treated patients (60.2% had TIMI grade 3 flow vs. 42.9% and 44.8% of APSAC- and combination-treated patients, respectively [rt-PA vs. APSAC, p < 0.01; rt-PA vs. combination, p = 0.02]). The incidence of unsatisfactory outcome was 41.3% for rt-PA compared with 49% for APSAC and 53.6% for the combination (rt-PA vs. APSAC, p = 0.19; rt-PA vs. combination, p = 0.06). The mortality rate at 6 weeks was lowest in the rt-PA-treated patients (2.2% vs. 8.8% for APSAC and 7.2% for combination thrombolytic therapy [rt-PA vs. APSAC, p = 0.02; rt-PA vs. combination, p = 0.06]).

CONCLUSIONS: Front-loaded rt-PA achieved significantly higher rates of early reperfusion and was associated with trends toward better overall clinical benefit and survival than those achieved with a standard thrombolytic agent or combination thrombolytic therapy. These findings support the concept that more rapid reperfusion of the infarct-related artery is associated with improved clinical outcome.

Trial: TIMI 4