Thrombolytic, antithrombin, and antiplatelet treatment of acute coronary syndromes.
Acute coronary syndromes are a major public health problem and the leading cause of death in the western world. Acute coronary syndromes consist of unstable angina pectoris, non-ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction, and ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction. These diseases represent a continuum of increasing severity and are pathophysiologically linked to intracoronary thrombus formation that is nonocclusive, transiently occlusive, or completely occlusive, respectively. Antiplatelet treatment with aspirin is the cornerstone of treatment for all acute coronary syndromes. Newer intravenous antiplatelet agents reduce 30-day mortality and myocardial infarction in unstable angina and non-ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction. Adenosine diphosphate antagonist antiplatelet agents have an ill-defined role in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes. Fibrinolytic therapy has been shown to reduce mortality in ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction but may pose a hazard in other acute coronary syndromes.
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