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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2013 August;104(4):357-81

language: English

Antithrombotic therapy in patients with acute coronary syndromes: how to make the right choice?

Eitan A., Nikolsky E.

Cardiology Department Rambam Health Care Campus and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel


ìAcute coronary syndrome (ACS), a spectrum of clinical scenarios including ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and unstable angina, is one of the main reasons of hospital admissions and the leading cause of mortality in the developed nations. The underlying pathological substrate in ACS is a rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque leading to either complete or partial thrombosis of the infarct-related vessel. Both activation of platelets and coagulation cascade play a crucial role in thrombus formation. Multiple pharmacological agents have been developed to interfere in this process and to achieve ruptured plaque stabilization. Given the unfavorable impact of bleeding events on clinical outcomes, the development of newer drugs inhibiting platelet aggregation or thrombin formation used for the treatment of patients during acute ACS phase or for the prophylaxis of future ischemic events is targeted on the optimal balance of benefits and risks for each individual. This review provides comprehensive analysis of the current status of antiplatelet and antithrombotic therapy in patients with ACS.

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