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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 Dec;16(7):1703-10.

Reduction in incidence of inducible ventricular tachycardia after myocardial infarction by treatment with streptokinase during infarct evolution.

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Cardiology Unit, Westmead Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.


The aim of this study was to determine whether intravenous streptokinase administered with or without oral aspirin to patients with evolving myocardial infarction reduces the inducibility of ventricular tachycardia at electrophysiologic study and thus the risk of sudden death in infarct survivors. Of 159 patients randomized at Westmead Hospital to the multicenter Second International Study of Infarct Survival (ISIS-2) after streptokinase and aspirin in acute myocardial infarction, 87 underwent electrophysiologic testing 6 to 28 days after infarction to determine their risk of subsequent ventricular arrhythmias (streptokinase 20 patients; aspirin 25 patients; streptokinase and aspirin 21 patients; both placebos 21 patients). Patients who underwent electrophysiologic testing had similar clinical characteristics to those of patients who did not. The stimulation protocol comprised up to and including four extrastimuli applied to the right ventricular apex at twice diastolic threshold. An abnormal result was defined as ventricular tachycardia with a cycle length greater than or equal to 230 ms lasting greater than or equal to 10 s. Ventricular tachycardia was inducible at electrophysiologic study in 8 patients who received placebo streptokinase, but in no patient who received active streptokinase (8 of 46 versus 0 of 41; p = 0.005, Fischer's exact test). Ventricular tachycardia was inducible in 4 patients who received aspirin therapy and 4 who did not (4 of 41 versus 4 of 46; p = NS). During a mean follow-up period of 39 +/- 9 months, there were no spontaneous episodes of ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation or witnessed sudden death in the streptokinase-treated group compared with three such events in the placebo-treated group (p = 0.13). When compared with placebo therapy, intravenous streptokinase substantially reduced the incidence of inducible ventricular tachycardia in infarct survivors. No similar benefit was attributable to aspirin therapy.

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