• The use of thrombolytic agents in venous thromboembolism has been shown to be highly effective. Patients treated with lytic agents show more rapid clot resolution and lung reperfusion and more rapid and greater reversal of the abnormal hemodynamic responses to pulmonary embolism than patients receiving heparin. Moreover, lytic therapy removes thromboemboli more completely from the pulmonary microcirculation, whereas residual thromboemboli tend to accumulate with heparin therapy. In addition, lytic therapy tends to preserve the venous valves, whereas distortion and destruction occur with heparin therapy. Hence, lytic therapy confers a number of short- and long-term benefits not observed with heparin therapy.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:684-688)