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February 1961

Thrombolytic Therapy: Basic and Therapeutic Considerations

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. This work was supported by grants from the National Heart Institute (H3745), Bethesda, Md.; Lederle Laboratories Division, American Cyanamid Co., Pearl River, N.Y.; Research Division, The Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Abbott Laboratories, Chicago.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(2):274-289. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620020124014

One of the most exciting areas in modern therapeutics relates to the development of clot-dissolving agents for the treatment of acute thromboembolic episodes. Such an objective seems entirely feasible, since fibrin, the major insoluble constituent of the clot, is susceptible to enzymatic lysis, and agents capable of effecting such enzymatic lysis may be expected to be delivered to the site of the obstructing thrombus after their introduction into the general circulation. Thrombolytic therapy, then, is based on the principle that thrombi can be dissolved enzymatically providing the circulating plasma is endowed with an increased clot-dissolving ability for a long-enough period of time. Despite the fact that current investigation has progressed to the point where some thrombolytic agents have become available for general clinical use, certain problems remain to be solved before an effective form of therapy is available. Therefore our purpose in this report will be to stress present difficulties

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