The mechanism by which treatment with thrombolytic agents causes bleeding is not known. Recently, frequency of bleeding events has been shown to correlate with bleeding time, particularly in individuals treated with aspirin. We examined the effects of streptokinase (20,000-60,000 IU/kg) on bleeding time in 40 rabbits pretreated with aspirin, a model for fibrinolytic therapy. We then tested the effects of 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP) (0.3 μg/kg), an agent known to reduce bleeding time in a variety of bleeding disorders, in 20 rabbits and compared the results with those of a control group of rabbits receiving normal saline placebo. Aspirin increased the bleeding time from a baseline mean ± SEM value of 119 ± 15 to 191 ± 34 seconds in the control group and from 114 ± 6 to 188 ± 18 seconds in the experimental group. The addition of streptokinase increased the bleeding time to 592 ± 119 seconds in the control group and 810 ± 114 seconds in the experimental group (p = NS). Subsequent infusion of DDAVP decreased the bleeding time in the experimental group to 302 ± 29 seconds (p < 0.01 versus streptokinase) compared with 572 ± 79 seconds (p = NS versus streptokinase) in the control animals given saline placebo. In a subset of rabbits receiving aspirin and streptokinase (40,000-60,000 IU/kg), samples were obtained for platelet aggregation (n = 16), von Willebrand factor antigen concentration (n = 17), and von Willebrand factor multimer distribution (n = 14). Maximal rates of ADP-induced platelet aggregation were not affected by DDAVP infusion, nor was the plasma concentration of von Willebrand factor antigen, quantified by an immunoradiometric assay, significantly affected by DDAVP infusion. Furthermore, the von Willebrand factor multimer ratio decreased with DDAVP administration. These findings indicate that aspirin and streptokinase combined result in a marked increase in bleeding time that can be reduced by DDAVP. This effect of DDAVP is not accompanied by an increase in platelet aggregation response, plasma von Willebrand factor antigen concentration, or von Willebrand factor multimer ratio.
- platelet function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)