Increases in thrombin activity in patients given fibrinolytic agents for acute myocardial infarction have been shown to be important in limiting the ultimate success of coronary thrombolysis. The present study was designed to determine whether increases in thrombin activity reflect, in part, activation of prothrombin accompanying thrombolysis. Plasma concentrations of prothrombin fragment 1.2, a polypeptide released when prothrombin is activated by factor Xa, were measured in 22 patients with acute myocardial infarction before and after treatment with 100 mg of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA). Concentrations of prothrombin fragment 1.2 increased from 0.83 ± 1.1 nM (mean ± SD) before rt-PA infusion to 1.5 ± 1.5 nM 2 h after initiation of the infusion (p < 0.05). After a 5,000-U intravenous dose of heparin given at the end of the infusion of rt-PA, concentrations of prothrombin fragment 1.2 decreased from 1.8 ± 1.5 to 1.1 ± 0.9 nM (n = 20, p < 0.05), although values were still increased compared with concentrations before rt-PA. These results indicate that thrombin activity increases in patients given rt-PA at least in part because of activation of the coagulation system leading to activation of prothrombin. Thus, inhibition of the reactions involving coagulant proteins that lead to activation of prothrombin may be of value as conjunctive treatment to potentiate the efficacy of pharmacologic thrombolysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine