Effect of low-dose heparin treatment on fibrinolysis in patients with previous myocardial infarction

Domenico Prisco, Rita Paniccia, Gian Franco Gensini, Mirella Coppo, Andrea Colella, Monica Filippini, Tamara Brunelli, Rosanna Abbate, Gian Gastone Neri Serneri

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The present study was designed to investigate whether medium-term, low-dose heparin treatment is able to affect the fibrinolytic system. In a randomized cross-over study 10 asymptomatic patients with previous (1-6 years) myocardial infarction underwent two sequential 15-day treatments, respectively, on heparin and on placebo (saline solution), preceded and separated by 10-day wash-out periods. Heparin (as calcium heparin, 12, 500 IU in 0.5 ml) and saline (0.5 ml) were subcutaneously administered once a day at 8 a.m. Blood samples for fibrinolysis studies were withdrawn on the first and 15th day of each period immediately before and 4 h after heparin or saline administration before and after 10 min venous occlusion (VO) respectively. Four hours after the first heparin administration tissue plasminogen activator antigen (t-PA ag) levels significantly increased with respect to saline administration (p <0.01 and p <0.05, respectively). After 15-day heparin treatment a decrease in euglobulin lysis time (p <0.05) and an increase in t-PA activity (act) (p <0.05) and in t-PA ag (p <0.01) in comparison with placebo were observed before VO. No statistically significant changes in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels were found. The variations of fibrinolytic system activity induced by heparin treatment were more marked when evaluated after VO. These results indicate that medium-term low-dose heparin treatment increases t-PA ag formation and/or release with consequent t-PA act increase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalPathophysiology of Haemostasis and Thrombosis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Euglobulin lysis time
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Inhibitor 1
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Plasminogen activator
  • Tissue plasminogen activator
  • Unfractionated heparin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Physiology (medical)

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