Incidence of intra-cranial hemorrhage linked to treatment of ischemic stroke with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) has led to interest in adjuvant therapies such as ultrasound (US) or plasminogen, to enhance rt-PA efficacy and improve patient safety. High-frequency US (∼MHz) such as 2-MHz transcranial Doppler (TCD) has demonstrated increased recanalization in situ. Low-frequency US (∼kHz) enhanced thrombolysis (UET) has demonstrated higher lytic capabilities but has been associated with incidence of intracerebral hemorrhage in some clinical trials. In vitro studies using plasminogen have shown enhancement of lysis. This study compared rt-PA-induced lysis using adjuvant therapies, with 120-kHz or 2-MHz pulsed US, or plasminogen, in an in vitro human whole blood clot model. Blood was drawn from 30 subjects after local institutional approval. Clots were exposed to rt-PA at concentrations of 0 to 3.15 μg/ml. Clots were exposed to rt-PA alone (rt-PA) or in combination with plasminogen (Plg), 120-kHz US (120-kHz), or 2-MHz US (2-MHz). Thrombolytic efficacy was determined by assessing the percent fractional clot loss (FCL) at 30 minutes using microscopic imaging. There was no enhancement of lysis for combination therapy with [rt-PA]=0 μg/ml. Adding rt- PA increased lysis for all groups. As [rt-PA] increased, lysis tended to increase for 120-kHz and Plg (FCL: from 50% to 70%, 120-kHz; 65% to 83%, Plg) but not for 2-MHz (58% to 52%). Lytic efficacy in combination therapy depends on rt- PA concentration and the adjuvant therapy type. For non-zero rt-PA concentrations, all combination therapies produced more lysis than rt-PA alone.
Keywords: Plasminogen, thrombolysis, tissue plasminogen activator, transcranial doppler, ultrasound, Plasminogen activator, Intracerebral hemorrhage, Zymogen plasminogen, Plasmin, Brain Ischemia, Lytic Efficacy, Myocardial infarction, Thrombolytic therapy, Human Plasma
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