The purpose of this study was to establish the effects of clot age and thrombolysis, with either streptokinase or tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), on argatroban's ability to inhibit thrombin. The antithrombotic activity of argatroban has been quantified in fibrin clot permeation and fibrin clot perfusion systems as a function of clot age and composition. Analysis of the argatroban dose-response data with a competitive inhibition model has yielded IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Results obtained in a plasma clot permeation system have also shown that argatroban is a potent inhibitor of clot-bound thrombin, independent of either clot age or the presence of hemostatically active platelets. Treatment of aged plasma clots with either streptokinase or alteplase, at therapeutic levels, increased the available thrombin activity, yet argatroban still inhibited this clot-associated thrombin with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Scanning electron microscopy/morphometric analyses demonstrated that permeation with argatroban had no significant effects on clot structure. We conclude that argatroban is an effective inhibitor of thrombin bound to aged fibrin clots, in purified systems and in plasma clots, as well as in clots that have been treated with the thrombolytic agents streptokinase and alteplase.
Copyright 1998 by The American Society of Hematology.