Why is thrombolytic therapy indicated in patients with coronary atherosclerosis?

Updated: Dec 31, 2017
  • Author: Wanda L Rivera-Bou, MD, FAAEM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Coronary atherosclerosis is a diffuse process characterized by segmental lesions called coronary plaques. The plaque ruptures, exposing the endothelial lining and allowing prothrombotic enzymes and molecular triggers to mix with the blood. Platelets are activated, and the coagulation cascade is amplified, resulting in a thrombus that occludes the vessel and prevents the circulation of oxygenated blood. Irreversible ischemia-induced myocardial necrosis may occur within 20-60 minutes of occlusion.

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