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Antiplatelet Therapy in Acute Coronary Syndromes. Lights and Shadows of Platelet Function Tests to Guide the Best Therapeutic Approach

Author(s):

Giovanni Cimmino, Emanuele Gallinoro, Luigi Di Serafino, Nicola De Luca and Plinio Cirillo   Pages 1 - 11 ( 11 )

Abstract:


The key role of platelets in pathophysiology of Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) has been well recognized. Platelet activation and aggregation, together with tissue factor-pathway activation, leads to acute thrombus formation in the coronary vessels at sites of plaque rupture. Thus, antiplatelet therapy with drugs able to interfere with platelet activation/aggregation represents a cornerstone of ACS treatment in intensive care units and catheterisation labs. Several observational studies have described that residual high platelet reactivity, despite antiplatelet therapy, is associated with increased risk of nonfatal Myocardial Infarction (MI), definite/probable stent thrombosis and cardiovascular mortality. Thus, assessment of platelet function with reliable and reproducible platelet function tests might be crucial to identify patients at high risk of thrombosis or not responding to ongoing antiplatelet strategies. However, despite this promising background, some randomized clinical trials have failed to demonstrate improvement in outcomes when using platelet function tests for clinical decision-making. This review, after describing platelet biology and pathophysiology of ACS, briefly considers the drugs currently approved for use in patients with ACS or treated by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Finally, we provide an updated overview of the current methods to evaluate platelet reactivity in the clinical setting of ACS illustrating their potential advantages/limitations in current clinical practice.

Keywords:

Acute Coronary Syndromes; Platelet biology; Platelet function tests, Thrombosis

Affiliation:

Department of Translational Sciences, University of Campania ``Luigi Vanvitelli``, Naples, Department of Translational Sciences, University of Campania ``Luigi Vanvitelli``, Naples, Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences (Division of Cardiology), University of Naples ``Federico II``, Naples, Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences (Division of Cardiology), University of Naples ``Federico II``, Naples, Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences (Division of Cardiology), University of Naples ``Federico II``, Naples



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