AIMS: Thrombolytic therapy restores coronary patency in patients with acute myocardial infarction, although normal perfusion (TIMI 3 flow) is not achieved in all patients. In an attempt to improve TIMI 3 flow, a combination of full-dose streptokinase, aspirin and escalating dosages of a platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor blocker, eptifibatide, vs placebo were tested. METHODS AND RESULTS : A bolus of 180 microg. kg(-1)of eptifibatide was administered in each group, followed by a 72 h continuous infusion of 0.75 (44 patients), 1.33 (n=45) and 2.00 microg. kg(-1). min(-1)(n = 30); 62 patients received placebo. Normal perfusion (TIMI 3 flow) at 90 min was observed in 31% of placebo patients compared to 46, 42 and 45% in the ascending eptifibatide groups (44% for combined eptifibatide groups, P = 0.07). Patency (TIMI 2 and 3 flow combined) increased from 61% (placebo) to 78% for the combined eptifibatide groups (P = 0.02). Reocclusion was infrequent. No differences were observed in TIMI flow grades among eptifibatide groups. Major and minor bleeding was increased and occurred mainly at the arterial puncture site. CONCLUSION: A combination of full dose streptokinase with different eptifibatide regimens enhanced coronary perfusion, but bleeding risk was excessive. Additional trials are needed with different dosage regimens to determine the optimal combination of fibrinolytic agents and platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor blockers.

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European Heart Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam