Ample evidence exists to support the major role of intracoronary thrombosis superimposed on a disrupted plaque in unstable angina. Consequently, thrombolytic treatment, already established to be highly beneficial in patients with acute myocardial infarction, might also be indicated in patients with unstable angina. The clinical response to thrombolytic treatment has been evaluated in several small-sized studies with inconsistent and somewhat deceiving results. Thus, the role of thrombolysis in the treatment of unstable angina is still controversial. Two ongoing large-scale, randomized, controlled trials, the Third Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI III) in the United States testing recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator and UNASEM in Europe testing anisoylated plasminogen-streptokinase activator complex will, it is hoped, solve the debate. At present, early thrombolysis might be considered for the treatment of the subset of patients with severe rest angina associated with transient ST-T ischemic changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine