Three thrombolytic agents are frequently used in the United States for treating patients with acute myocardial infarction: streptokinase, alteplase (tissue plasminogen activator [t-PA]), and anistreplase (anisoylated plasminogen-streptokinase activator complex [APSAC]). A fourth agent, urokinase, is occasionally used but clinical experience is considerably more limited with this agent. Streptokinase, alteplase, and anistreplase differ in a number of pharmacologic properties, which include half-life, enzymatic efficiency, and induction of platelet aggregation; these differences may be clinically important. For example, anistreplase and alteplase have high affinity for fibrin and bind to intravascular thrombi after intravenous administration, which may result in higher clot specificity. Anistreplase has the longest half-life of the 3 agents and, therefore, can be administered conveniently and quickly. Atteplase has a shorter half-life and heparin is generally a necessary adjunctive agent. These differences can be clinically significant in various settings and application of such theoretical advantages is just beginning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine