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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 2008 February;56(1):139-54

language: English

Antiplatelet therapy following drug-eluting stent implantation: new clinical data and recommendations

Paradis J. M. 1, Ducrocq G. 1, Tanguay J. F. 2

1 University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
2 Montreal Heart Institute Faculty of Medicine University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada


Technological developments in percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) allow the possibility for less invasive revascularization in an increasing number of patients with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Bare-metal stents (BMS) have considerably improved the efficacy of PCI in addition to greatly reducing restenosis. However, even with standard stents, restenosis has remained a significant limitation of this revascularization technique. The advent of drug-eluting stents (DES) has dramatically reduced in-stent restenosis and, as a result, the need for repeat revascularization. However, their potential thrombogenicity has raised concerns about their clinical utility and long-term safety. Indeed, there is a possible higher rate of late stent thrombosis (LST) with DES compared with BMS. Antiplatelet therapy has been shown to be efficient in preventing DES thrombosis. Neverthe-less, in the future, significant improvement will occur to improve the safety and efficacy of this therapy. This article will summarize the pathophysiology and the epidemiology of stent thrombosis (ST). Defini-tions of definite, probable and possible ST will be described. Furthermore, clinical risk factors for ST will be clearly enumerated. Then, the various antiplatelet therapeutic strategies used to prevent ST will be taken in consideration. Finally, a summary of the major recommendations about antiplatelet therapy made by some of the most prestigious learned societies will be presented.

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