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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 December;53(6):585-604


language: English

Low molecular weight heparins in cardiovascular medicine

De Lorenzo F., Dotsenko O., Kakkar V. V.


Cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western countries and their prevalence is increasing in developing world. The final biological evolution of atherosclerotic process, supporting development and progression of cardiovascular diseases, is thrombosis. In the most recent years several clinical trails have established that low molecular weight heparins play a major role in the area of prevention and treatment of arterial and venous thrombosis. It is now established, that low molecular weight heparins are efficacious and safe anticoagulant options for patients with deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, unstable angina and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. In addition, low molecular weight heparins play a major role to prevent thromboembolic events in patients with chronic diseases (e.g. due to cerebrovascular ischemic events, cancer) and in patients undergoing surgical interventions. Clinical trials have also shown that low molecular weight heparins might play a role in the treatment of patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction, in the prevention of thrombotic events in patients with congestive heart failure, and in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions. The combined use of low molecular weight heparins with fibrinolysis and other antithrombotic agents has been also studies in a number of clinical trials. This review summarises the results of the most recent clinical studies regarding the use of low molecular weight heparins in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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