The beneficial effect of thrombolytic therapy in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is now well established [13-15]. Use of thrombolytic agents has become a standard emergency treatment in such situations to the extent that globally, such drugs are administered to over 500,000 patients each year. It has been estimated that three times that number could potentially benefit from such therapy [5,16]. Although effective, these products achieve complete reperfusion in, on an average, only 50% of patients, and side effects can include risk of hemorrhage (in particular intracranial bleeding) as well as hypertension.
The remainder of this chapter will focus upon the three tPA-based product variants now approved for general medical use: Alteplase, Reteplase, and Tenecteplase.
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