Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator restores perfusion in meningococcal purpura fulminans

Crit Care Med. 1997 Jun;25(6):1079-82. doi: 10.1097/00003246-199706000-00028.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether an infusion of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator would dissolve microvascular thromboses and improve organ perfusion in a patient with fulminant meningococcemia.

Design: Descriptive case report.

Setting: Fifteen-bed pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) in a university hospital.

Patient: A 4-month-old male with fulminant meningococcemia, refractory shock, and multiple organ failure.

Interventions: In addition to standard aggressive ICU care, the patient received a recombinant tissue plasminogen activator infusion at a total dose of 1.25 mg/kg over 4 hrs.

Measurements and main results: Heart rate, arterial blood pressure, urine output, and base deficit (as a reflection of severity of metabolic acidosis) were recorded immediately before the recombinant tissue plasminogen activator infusion and 4 hrs later, after completion of the recombinant tissue plasminogen activator infusion. The amount of exogenous vasopressor and inotropic support required to maintain the patient's hemodynamic status before and after recombinant tissue plasminogen activator infusion were also compared. Subjective observations regarding the patient's peripheral perfusion status were also noted. The patient showed a dramatic improvement in hemodynamics, urine output, and metabolic acidosis, as well as a perceived increase in skin perfusion after recombinant tissue plasminogen activator infusion.

Conclusions: In this patient, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator infusion resulted in improved organ perfusion and cardiac performance. Selective use of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator in the treatment of fulminant meningococcemia merits further investigation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blood Circulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Male
  • Meningococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Meningococcal Infections / physiopathology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / complications
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / drug therapy*
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / physiopathology
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Shock / complications
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / administration & dosage
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator