Management of the patient following coronary thrombolysis

Clin Cardiol. 1990 Sep;13(9):591-609. doi: 10.1002/clc.4960130904.


Myocardial salvage can be maximized by the early institution of thrombolytic therapy and aspirin. Certain patients may benefit from the administration of intravenous heparin, beta blockers, or nitroglycerin. The routine use of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or calcium-channel blockers does not appear to be warranted. Recurrent myocardial ischemia should be vigorously treated with medical therapy and there may be value in cardiac catheterization, followed by PTCA or bypass surgery, depending upon the extent of myocardium at risk and the underlying coronary anatomy. Long-term morbidity and mortality may be reduced by instituting aspirin and beta blockers as well as by modifying risk factors. There is no evidence for the long-term benefit from any calcium-channel blocker. Oral anticoagulation may be warranted in those patients with a mural thrombus, congestive heart failure, or atrial fibrillation. ACE inhibitors may be of value in the presence of left ventricular dysfunction and certainly in the presence of symptomatic congestive heart failure. Antiarrhythmic therapy is generally indicated only for symptomatic or life-threatening arrhythmias. Residual myocardial ischemia should be sought by exercise testing, and those patients with poor exercise tolerance generally warrant cardiac catheterization in consideration for revascularization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Coronary Vessels / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy* / methods
  • Vascular Patency