Prehospital use of APSAC: results of a placebo-controlled study

Am J Cardiol. 1989 Jul 5;64(2):30A-33A; discussion 41A-42A. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(89)90927-2.


Thrombolytic treatment efficacy is greater when the delay between onset of pain and treatment is short. To give treatment before admission to a coronary care unit, responsibility needs to be transferred from cardiologists to other physicians working in mobile care units. We conducted a 2-part feasibility study to investigate this strategy. Part 1 evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of mobile care unit physicians. Results from this study indicate that with regard to the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, the risk of a wrong diagnosis is low. Part 2 was a placebo-controlled trial involving 100 patients in which 57 received anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex (APSAC) (30 U) at home and 43 received placebo at home. Patients receiving placebo at home were reevaluated on arrival in a coronary care unit and received APSAC (30 U) if indicated. The main results were that (1) diagnostic accuracy was good--all patients had an acute coronary syndrome and 97 of 100 patients had myocardial infarction; (2) time gain was approximately 60 minutes; (3) coronary patency rate was 72%; (4) ejection fraction was higher in the prehospital group (56.7%) than in the control group (53.4%), but the difference was not significant; (5) there was no rhythmic or bleeding complication related to the prehospital treatment; (6) 5 patients died from cardiogenic shock--2 between home and hospital and 3 in the hospital (3 received thrombolytic treatment at home and 2 received placebo at home and APSAC in the hospital); and (7) prehospital administration of APSAC did not induce a delay in arrival to the coronary care unit.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anistreplase
  • Electrocardiography
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Health Units
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Plasminogen / administration & dosage*
  • Random Allocation
  • Streptokinase / administration & dosage*
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Patency / drug effects


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Anistreplase
  • Plasminogen
  • Streptokinase