Author + information
- ↵*Address for reprints: Marc Verstraete, MD, Center for Thrombosis and Vascular Research, Campus Gasthuisberg, Onderwijs en Navorsing, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.
Since streptokinase and urokinase became available for clinical use, numerous attempts have been made to improve these useful thrombolytic agents. To decrease its antigenicity, streptokinase has been fragmented or coupled to human plasminogen or polethylene glycols. With a plasmin B chain-streptokinase complex a more potent agent was obtained. To prolong their half-life, streptokinase and urokinase were immobilized with water-soluble carriers. Coupling urokinase with fibrin-specific antibodies increases its thrombolytic efficacy, at least in vitro. The only thrombolytic agents with a relative fibrin specificity available for clinical purposes are tissue-type plasminogen activator and single chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Mutants and hybrids of these molecules are being constructed and may further improve their fibrin specificity and therapeutic potential.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation