The Assumption That Fibrinolysis and tPA Can Be Equated is Mistaken
Fibrinolysis is the body’s defense system against obstructive blood clots, which are responsible for conditions like heart attack and stroke. This important endogenous function is mediated not by one, but by two activators called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). Since tPA was approved in 1987 and it binds to the fibrin clot and induces fibrin-specific fibrinolysis. By contrast, uPA was known since non-specifc plasminogen activator which has no fibrin affinity. Not surprisingly, tPA has invariably dominated fibrinolytic therapy.