Document Type: Review Paper
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Research Center for Rational Use of Drugs, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Faculty of Medicine, Aja University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Advanced Thoracic Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Reperfusion therapies are recommended for patients with hemodynamic instability or high-risk acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Lower doses of tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) could be considered to improve bleeding complications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a reduced dose of rt-PA for the treatment of acute PE, compared with anticoagulation and standard dose. PubMed Central, Scopus, Web of Science and Embase were searched for all relevant randomized studies and prospective observational studies that compared reduced dose of rt-PA with anticoagulation alone or standard dose of rt-PA in patients with acute PE. The risk ratios (RR, with 95% CI) were calculated according to the value of I2. Outcomes were described as bleeding events, all-cause death, and recurrence of PE. Thirteen articles, including four observational studies (4223 patients) and nine RCTs (780 patients), were included. In comparing reduced dose of rt-PA with anticoagulant, a greater incidence of total bleeding events in low dose was showed (RR, 5.08 (95% CI, (1.39–18.6), I2 = 0.0%). In the standard dose rt-PA vs. reduced dose, there was a greater incidence of total bleeding events in the standard dose of rt-PA, RR 1.48 (95% CI, (1.00–2.19), I2 = 0.0%) was shown. There were no statistical differences in recurrent PE or all-cause mortality. It concluded that in the absence of the benefit of a standard dose of rt-PA in comparison with dose reduction, a reduced dose of rt-PA showed a lower rate of total bleeding events and similar efficacy regarding mortality and PE recurrence rate.