thrombolytic drug (thrŏmˌbəlĭtˈĭk) [key] or clot-dissolving drug, substance, such as streptokinase or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), that causes the breakdown of blood clots (see thrombosis) that obstruct the flow of blood through the vessels. Its uses include injection during or shortly after a heart attack or stroke (see infarction) to prevent clots from blocking blood flow to the heart muscle or brain.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.