Tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) vs heparin in deep vein thrombosis. Results of a randomized trial.
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We performed a randomized trial comparing two dosing regimens of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) plus heparin vs heparin alone in the treatment of acute proximal deep vein thrombosis in 83 patients. Of 12 patients who received 0.5 mg/kg rt-PA plus heparin over 4 h, seven (58 percent) had greater than 50 percent lysis of the thrombus, compared with none of 12 who received placebo plus heparin (p = 0.002). Of 28 patients who received 0.5 mg/kg rt-PA over 8 h, repeated in 24 h, six (21 percent) had greater than 50 percent lysis, compared with two (7 percent) of 30 patients who received placebo plus heparin (p = 0.11). The 4-h infusion of rt-PA produced a 40 percent reduction and the 8-h infusion an 11 percent reduction in plasma fibrinogen concentration. At long-term follow-up, three (25 percent) of 12 patients in whom greater than 50 percent lysis was achieved had symptoms of the postphlebitic syndrome, compared with 19 (56 percent) of 34 patients in whom lysis was less than 50 percent (p = 0.07).
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