GUSTO settles clinical debate By Kris Herbst
Contributing Editor

WASHINGTON - Data gathered during the Global Utilization of Streptokinase and tPA for Occluded Coronary Arteries Trial (GUSTO) has settled a long-standing question about the benefits of increasing blood supply during a heart attack, according to GUSTO investigators.

Scientists have sought to prove a hypothesis that more rapid and increased opening of blood vessels during a heart attack reduces the magnitude of the attack, said Dr. Allan Ross, chairman of an angiographic sub-study within GUSTO.

The 2,400-patient sub-study provided conclusive evidence that accelerated administration of Genentech Inc.'s Activase tissue plasminogen activator within a 30-minute period "definitely improves heart pumping function, right from the beginning, sustained throughout the week in the hospital, and leading to a reduced 30-day mortality," Ross said at a presentation of the data here on Friday.

'Caught by surprise'

The sub-study identified and validated an important