Background: The TIMI 14 trial tested the hypothesis that abciximab, the Fab fragment of a monoclonal antibody directed to the platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor, is a potent and safe addition to reduced-dose thrombolytic regimens for ST-segment elevation MI.
Methods and results: Patients (n=888) with ST-elevation MI presenting <12 hours from onset of symptoms were treated with aspirin and randomized initially to either 100 mg of accelerated-dose alteplase (control) or abciximab (bolus 0.25 mg/kg and 12-hour infusion of 0.125 microg. kg-1. min-1) alone or in combination with reduced doses of alteplase (20 to 65 mg) or streptokinase (500 000 U to 1.5 MU). Control patients received standard weight-adjusted heparin (70-U/kg bolus; infusion of 15 U. kg-1. h-1), whereas those treated with a regimen including abciximab received low-dose heparin (60-U/kg bolus; infusion of 7 U. kg-1. h-1). The rate of TIMI 3 flow at 90 minutes for patients treated with accelerated alteplase alone was 57% compared with 32% for abciximab alone and 34% to 46% for doses of streptokinase between 500 000 U and 1.25 MU with abciximab. Higher rates of TIMI 3 flow at both 60 and 90 minutes were observed with increasing duration of administration of alteplase, progressing from a bolus alone to a bolus followed by either a 30- or 60-minute infusion (P<0.02). The most promising regimen was 50 mg of alteplase (15-mg bolus; infusion of 35 mg over 60 minutes), which produced a 76% rate of TIMI 3 flow at 90 minutes and was tested subsequently in conjunction with either low-dose or very-low-dose (30-U/kg bolus; infusion of 4 U. kg-1. h-1) heparin. TIMI 3 flow rates were significantly higher in the 50-mg alteplase plus abciximab group versus the alteplase-only group at both 60 minutes (72% versus 43%; P=0.0009) and 90 minutes (77% versus 62%; P=0.02). The rates of major hemorrhage were 6% in patients receiving alteplase alone (n=235), 3% with abciximab alone (n=32), 10% with streptokinase plus abciximab (n=143), 7% with 50 mg of alteplase plus abciximab and low-dose heparin (n=103), and 1% with 50 mg of alteplase plus abciximab with very-low-dose heparin (n=70).
Conclusions: Abciximab facilitates the rate and extent of thrombolysis, producing early, marked increases in TIMI 3 flow when combined with half the usual dose of alteplase. This improvement in reperfusion with alteplase occurred without an increase in the risk of major bleeding. Substantial reductions in heparin dosing may reduce the risk of bleeding even further. Modest improvements in TIMI 3 flow were seen when abciximab was combined with streptokinase, but there was an increased risk of bleeding.