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Failure of thrombolysis by streptokinase: detection with a simple electrocardiographic method
  1. A G C Sutton,
  2. P G Campbell,
  3. D J A Price,
  4. E D Grech,
  5. J A Hall,
  6. A Davies,
  7. M J Stewart,
  8. M A de Belder
  1. Cardiothoracic Division, South Cleveland Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW, UK
  1. Dr de Belder


OBJECTIVE To determine whether simple, readily applicable ECG criteria will allow early prediction of inadequate (< TIMI 3) flow in the infarct related vessel in patients receiving thrombolytic treatment for acute myocardial infarction; and to determine the success of streptokinase in achieving adequate antegrade flow in the infarct related vessel two hours after starting treatment.

DESIGN Cohort study.

SETTING Regional cardiothoracic unit.

PATIENTS 100 sequential patients with acute myocardial infarction.

INTERVENTIONS Coronary angiography two hours after the initiation of thrombolytic treatment, proceeding to rescue angioplasty for inadequate flow in the infarct related vessel where appropriate.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of six ECG criteria for the detection of inadequate antegrade flow in the infarct related vessel.

RESULTS The ECG test that performed best as a positive test for < TIMI 3 flow in the infarct related vessel was < 50% resolution of the ST segment elevation in the worst lead and no accelerated idioventricular rhythm. This had a sensitivity of 81%, specificity of 88%, positive predictive value of 87%, negative predictive value of 83%, and overall accuracy of 85%.

CONCLUSIONS Sensitive, specific, and simple ECG criteria are defined for diagnosing failure of thrombolytic treatment with streptokinase. These allow the early detection of patients at high risk of further adverse events from a persistently occluded vessel. They may be used without recourse to sophisticated equipment or complex analyses. Such patients can then be considered for alternative treatments or enrolment into appropriate research protocols.

  • myocardial infarction
  • thrombolysis
  • streptokinase

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