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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enhancement of thrombolysis with tissue-type plasminogen activator by pretreatment with heparin.

The effect of pretreatment with heparin on lysis of arterial thrombi by tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) was studied in 19 dogs. Copper coil-induced carotid artery thrombi were weighed, inserted into the femoral arteries, and exposed to a 15 min infusion of rt-PA at 10 micrograms/kg/min either with (n = 6 thrombi) or without pretreatment with a 200 unit/kg bolus of heparin (n = 6 thrombi). The infusion of rt-PA without pretreatment reduced the thrombus weight by 27.6 +/- 7.4%, while infusion of rt-PA with pretreatment reduced it by 79.1 +/- 12.3% (p less than .0001). To test the hypothesis that heparin enhanced thrombolysis by preventing continued incorporation of new fibrin into the thrombus during thrombolysis we repeated the experiments using pretreatment with 8 U/kg of ancrod, which rapidly depletes fibrinogen. Pretreatment with ancrod (n = 6 thrombi) depleted fibrinogen and enhanced the lytic effect of rt-PA to a similar degree as pretreatment with heparin, resulting in a 67.6 +/- 12.3% (NS) decrease in thrombus weight. We conclude that heparin significantly enhances the thrombolytic effect of rt-PA, probably by preventing new fibrin formation and its incorporation into the thrombus during lysis.[1]


  1. Enhancement of thrombolysis with tissue-type plasminogen activator by pretreatment with heparin. Cercek, B., Lew, A.S., Hod, H., Yano, J., Reddy, N.K., Ganz, W. Circulation (1986) [Pubmed]
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