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Circulation. 1997 Jun 3;95(11):2508-16.

Incidence and predictors of bleeding after contemporary thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction. The Global Utilization of Streptokinase and Tissue Plasminogen activator for Occluded coronary arteries (GUSTO) I Investigators.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Although the benefit of thrombolytic therapy in reducing mortality in acute myocardial infarction is well established, the types of bleeding and risk factors for bleeding are less well described in large trials.


We analyzed the baseline characteristics, outcomes, and incidence of bleeding by location, severity, and treatment assignment among 41,021 patients in the GUSTO-I trial of thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction. Of the 40,903 patients for whom there were complete data, 1.2% suffered severe bleeding and 11.4% experienced moderate hemorrhage at a variety of sites. The most common sources of bleeding were procedure related. The thrombolytic regimen was strongly related to the incidence of bleeding; comparatively more bleeding was seen with the therapies of streptokinase plus intravenous heparin and the streptokinase and tissue plasminogen activator plus intravenous heparin combination. In multivariate analysis, the four most powerful independent predictors of hemorrhage were older age, lighter body weight, female sex, and African ancestry; they remained the most important predictors of bleeding when multivariate analysis was performed on patients who did not undergo invasive procedures. The presence of serious hemorrhage was associated with other undesirable outcomes (recurrent events, left ventricular dysfunction, arrhythmia, or stroke).


Important predictors of bleeding in this population are increased age, lighter weight, female sex, African ancestry, and experiencing invasive procedures. Other nonhemorrhagic adverse clinical outcomes were associated with moderate and severe bleeding, which was in turn associated with increased length of hospital stay and mortality at 30 days.

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  • ACP J Club. 1998 Jan-Feb;128(1):17.
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