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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2005 February;53(1):15-42

language: English

Optimal antithrombotic treatment for percutaneous coronary intervention''

Kadakia R. A., Ferguson J. J.


Recent years have witnessed significant advances in the percutaneous treatment of patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease. Anti-platelet and anti-thrombotic agents are routinely administered to minimize the risk of peri-procedural myonecrosis, stent thrombosis and other procedural complications. This article presents a current view of optimal adjunctive antithrombotic therapy for percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), recognizing that optimal is a necessarily subjective label. This article focuses specifically on anticoagulant agents such as unfractionated heparin (UFH), the low-molecular weight heparins (LMWH), and direct thrombin inhibitors, and antiplatelet agents, such as aspirin, thienopyridinnes, and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists. It starts with a general discussion of anticoagulation and percutaneous intervention, followed by a summary of the modern-day view of the coagulation process. The mechanism of action of the individual agents is then presented, followed by some of the evidence base of recent clinical trials of anticoagulant and antiplatelet agents in PCI. Finally, we present summary recommendations for procedurtal anticoagulation in low risk, not-low risk, and high risk PCI, and list what we feel are appropriate doses for the agents employed. Ultimately, though, it is the individual interventional cardiologists who must decide for themselves exactly what constitutes optimal antithrombotic therapy for PCI.

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