UMEM Educational Pearls

ACLS guidelines state that thrombolytics may be considered for suspected pulmonary embolism during cardiac arrest. There is limited data supporting the recommendation; however, it is noted that the benefits likely outweigh the risks. There is also no consensus on the appropriate thrombolytic timing, drug, or dose.

Our institution recently implemented the use of tenecteplase for acute ischemic stroke, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), and pulmonary embolism (PE). When using tenecteplase for suspected PE during cardiac arrest, we use the same weight-based dose used for STEMIs. We include a label on the outside of the tenecteplase box that lists all the doses for the various indications.


 Tenecteplase Dose

<60 kg: 30 mg

≥60 to <70 kg: 35 mg

≥70 to <80 kg: 40 mg

≥80 to <90 kg: 45 mg

≥90 kg: 50 mg


The tenecteplase dose is administered as an IV bolus over 5 seconds.

There is also limited data for the duration of CPR after thrombolytic administration, with no recommendations being made in most literature. Our current institutional guidelines recommend to consider continuing CPR for 60-90 minutes before resuscitation efforts are terminated. The only guideline that makes any mention of duration of CPR is the European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021, which makes the same recommendation.



Berg KM, Soar J, Andersen LW, et al. Adult Advanced Life Support: 2020 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science with Treatment Recommendations. Circulation. 2020; 142(suppl 1):S92-139.

Lavonas EJ, Drennan IR, Gabrielli A, et al. Part 10: special circumstances of resuscitation: 2015 American Heart Association guidelines update for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2015; 132(suppl 2):S501-S518.

Lott C, Truhlá A, Alfonzo A, et al; ERC Special Circumstances Writing Group Collaborators. European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021: Cardiac arrest in special circumstances. Resuscitation. 2021 Apr;161:152-219.

TNKase (tenecteplase) [prescribing information]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech; March 2023.