By taking continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) readings for 24 hours after treating heart attack patients, Duke University Medical Center researches have shown that giving a combination of a new drug that prevents platelets from clumping together, as well as a clot-busting drug, opens up clogged arteries faster and keeps them open longer.
The researchers found that giving the anti-clotting drug eptifibatide along with a half-dose tenecteplase (TNK) -- a genetically altered version of the commonly used clot-busting agent t-PA -- improved the speed and endurance of restored blood flow to the heart. Eptifibatide is one of a new class of drugs used to prevent the aggregation of platelets in the bloodstream, a process that can lead to the formation of new blood clots, causing potentially dangerous complications.
Duke cardiologists Matthew Roe, M.D., and Mitchell Krucoff, M.D., conducted an additional analysis on a subset of patients enrolled in a larger clinical trial comparing the dual-drug strategy with a TNK-only treatment. His analysis was unique in that he used a portable heart monitoring device which continuously recorded the heart?s electrical activity for 24 hours.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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