Altered Rheological Properties of Blood following Administrations of Tissue Plasminogen Activator and Streptokinase in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction

  • Kung-ming Jan
  • Eric Powers
  • Walter Reinhart
  • Andrew Berke
  • Allen Nichols
  • Rita Watson
  • Dennis Reison
  • Allan Schwartz
  • Shu Chien
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 281)


Tissue blood flow is determined by rheological properties of blood as well as by vascular resistance. In acute myocardial infarction patients who participated in the TIMI I trial, we compared the effects of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) and streptokinase (SK) on blood rheological properties and plasma fibrinogen concentration. Blood viscosity was determined by using a coaxial cylinder viscometer at shear rates, γ, of 0.01-200 sec-1. Red blood cell (RBC) deformability was studied by filtration through poly-carbonate microsieves with pore size of 3 and 5 μm. Therapy with rt-PA resulted in slight decreases but statistically significant in blood viscosity from 5.2±0.5 to 4.9±0.4 cP (γ = 52 sec-1), plasma viscosity from 1.36±0.09 to 1.32±0.06 cP, and plasma fibrinogen from 0.26 ± 0.04 to 0.21 ±0.03 g/dl. SK therapy resulted in reductions in blood viscosity from 5.1 ± 0.5 to 4.6 ± 0.3 cP, plasma viscosity from 1.26 ± 0.10 to 1.16 ± 0.03 cP, and fibrinogen from 0.26 ± 0.06 to 0.10 ± 0.05 g/dl. Changes observed with SK were significantly greater than those observed with rt-PA (all p <0.05), and the differences persisted at 10 days after thrombolytic therapy. RBC deformability was similar in the two groups. The greater reduction of blood viscosity after SK than rt-PA suggests that, for a given degree of arterial patency, myocardial blood flow may be better maintained with SK than rt-PA in patients with acute myocardial infarction.


Shear Rate Acute Myocardial Infarction Myocardial Blood Flow Thrombolytic Therapy Blood Viscosity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kung-ming Jan
    • 1
  • Eric Powers
    • 2
  • Walter Reinhart
    • 1
  • Andrew Berke
    • 2
  • Allen Nichols
    • 2
  • Rita Watson
    • 2
  • Dennis Reison
    • 2
  • Allan Schwartz
    • 2
  • Shu Chien
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Cellular BiophysicsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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