Effects of intravenous urokinase versus alteplase on total pulmonary resistance in acute massive pulmonary embolism: a European multicenter double-blind trial. The European Cooperative Study Group for Pulmonary Embolism
Journal of the American College of Cardiology vol:19 issue:2 pages:239-45
Twelve centers participated in a double-blind study in which 63 patients with angiographically documented acute massive pulmonary embolism were randomly assigned to treatment with either urokinase (4,400 U/kg as an intravenous bolus infusion, then 4,400 U/kg per h over 12 h; n = 29) or alteplase (10 mg as an intravenous bolus infusion, then 90 mg over 2 h) followed by heparin (n = 34). The primary objective was to compare the resolution of pulmonary embolism as judged by the change in total pulmonary resistance over the initial 2 h. Further objectives were to evaluate the changes in total pulmonary resistance over the next 10 h and the degree of angiographic resolution at 12 to 18 h. At 2 h, total pulmonary resistance decreased by 18 +/- 22% in the urokinase group and by 36 +/- 17% in the alteplase group (p = 0.0009). Continuous monitoring of pulmonary artery mean pressure, cardiac index and total pulmonary resistance revealed that these variables improved faster in the alteplase group, with consistently significant intergroup differences from 30 min up to 3 to 4 h. After 12 h, the decrease in total pulmonary resistance was 53 +/- 19% in the urokinase group compared with 48 +/- 17% in the alteplase group and the reduction in the angiographic severity score was 30 +/- 25% compared with 24 +/- 18%, respectively, with no significant intergroup differences. Bleeding was equally frequent in the two treatment groups, except that more urokinase-treated patients experienced hematomas at puncture sites.