Effect of intrapleural streptokinase administration on antistreptokinase antibody level in patients with loculated pleural effusions

Chest. 2003 Feb;123(2):432-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.123.2.432.


Background: Streptokinase is widely used IV for the treatment of myocardial infarction and intrapleurally for the treatment of loculated pleural effusions. IV administration of streptokinase is known to cause the production of antistreptokinase antibodies.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the intrapleural administration of streptokinase results in a similar elevation of the serum antistreptokinase antibody level.

Methods: During 1 year, venous blood samples were taken from 16 consecutive patients (10 men and 6 women; age range, 22 to 60 years) requiring intrapleural streptokinase administration (250,000 IU once a day, for 2 to 6 days). Blood samples were taken before treatment, on day 5, and day 14. Antistreptokinase antibodies were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and were expressed in arbitrary ELISA units. Four patients with myocardial infarction treated with IV streptokinase (1,500,000 IU) were included as control subjects for the method.

Results: Before treatment, the median antistreptokinase antibody level in patients with loculated pleural effusions was 729 ELISA units (range, 196 to 13,529 ELISA units) and increased to 9,240 ELISA units (range, 1,456 to 77,389 ELISA units) by day 14 (p < 0.0001). In the control group, the median pretreatment level was 119 ELISA units, and by day 14 it had increased to 20,495 ELISA units. Four patients who developed an elevated body temperature after intrapleural administration of streptokinase had a significantly higher pretreatment antistreptokinase antibody level compared to other patients.

Conclusions: The intrapleural administration of streptokinase results in the elevation of the serum antistreptokinase antibody level, which is similar to the case with IV administration. An increased pretreatment antistreptokinase antibody level does not influence the result of intrapleural fibrinolysis but can cause an elevation of body temperature after the administration of streptokinase.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Empyema, Pleural / drug therapy*
  • Empyema, Pleural / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / immunology
  • Pleura
  • Pleural Effusion / drug therapy*
  • Pleural Effusion / immunology
  • Streptokinase / administration & dosage*
  • Streptokinase / adverse effects
  • Streptokinase / immunology
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • antistreptokinase
  • Streptokinase