Synergism of aspirin and heparin with a low-frequency non-invasive ultrasound system for augmentation of in-vitro clot lysis

Shaul Atar, Yoram Neuman, Takashi Miyamoto, Ming Chen, Yochai Birnbaum, Huai Luo, Sergio Kobal, Robert J. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Aspirin, glycoprotein Ilb/IIIa inhibitors and heparin are routinely used in acute coronary syndromes. Previously we showed that there is synergism between ultrasound and heparin and tirofiban in augmenting blood clot disruption. However, there is a little data on a possible synergism of low-frequency ultrasound with aspirin for in-vitro clot dissolution, and especially on the combination of aspirin with heparin and/or glycoprotein Ilb/IIIa inhibitors. Materials and methods: Human blood clots (n = 320) were incubated for 10 or 20 minutes in saline containing aspirin alone or combined with heparin and/or tirofiban and/or eptifibatide. Clots were randomly treated with low-frequency ultrasound (27.3 kHz) or incubation only. The percent clot weight loss and the incremental effect of ultrasound were calculated. Results: The most significant incremental effect of ultrasound on clot weight reduction was detected with aspirin alone (5.2 ± 2.3% and 5.2 ± 2.6% after 10′ and 20′, p = 0.04 and p = 0.06, respectively) and in combination with heparin (8.8 ± 2.5% and 11.5 ± 2.7% after 10′ and 20′, p = 0.01 and p = 0.0001, respectively). The greatest absolute magnitude of clot weight reduction was observed with ultrasound combined with aspirin and heparin (48.5 ′ 9.5% after 20′). The addition of tirofiban or eptifibatide to aspirin, heparin and ultrasound did not increase clot lysis. However, eptifibatide had significantly better synergism than tirofiban (p = 0.025 and p = 0.015, after 10 and 20 minutes, respectively). Conclusions: Aspirin alone or in combination with heparin results in significant augmentation of clot lysis and is synergistic with application of low-frequency ultrasound for 10 and 20 minutes only. These results may have important implications for a possible use of low-frequency ultrasound in treatment algorithms of acute coronary syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspirin
  • Eptifibatide
  • Heparin
  • Thrombolysis
  • Tirofiban
  • Ultrasound


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