Oct. 6, 1997 DALLAS, Oct. 7 -- For treating heart attacks, the blood thinner hirulog is better than heparin when added to a "clot-buster" to dissolve blood clots and reopen clogged arteries, according to a report in today's American Heart Association journal Circulation.
New Zealand researchers found that individuals given hirulog were more likely to have their arteries "open up" following the clot-busting or thrombolytic treatment. Streptokinase was the thrombolytic used in this study.
"At 48 hours, the artery has opened up in 35 percent of heparin and 48 percent of high-dose hirulog patients," reports Harvey White, M.D., of the cardiology department at Green Lane Hospital. The study included 412 patients: 140 were given heparin, 136 were given low-dose hirulog and 136 were given high-dose hirulog.
Researchers point out that within the first 24 hours after clot-busing treatment, about 5-15 percent of individuals may have new clots forming, a problem that, in some cases, causes death.
White says a large clinical trial will be conducted in 17,000 patients to find out if hirulog given before streptokinase will improve survival. Early successful reperfusion or reopening is normally associated with survival.
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