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Prevention and Treatment of Coronary Distal Embolization in the Setting of Acute Myocardial Infarction: Pharmacologic Approach

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 4 ]


Alberto R. De Caterina, Italo Porto, Giovanni Luigi De Maria and Adrian P. Banning   Pages 463 - 467 ( 5 )


Distal embolization (DE) of atherothrombotic debris into the coronary microcirculation occurs both in stable and unstable coronary syndromes. Despite the well recognized clinical significance of periprocedural myocardial infarction (MI) in stable percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), the impact of DE has a much higher prognostic impact in the acute setting, and especially in ST-elevation myocardial infarction, where DE is a main determinant of no-reflow phenomenon. The present review aims to describe the pathophysiology of DE and to summarize the currently available pharmacological strategies to prevent and treat DE in the setting of MI, especially focusing on antithrombotic, antiinflammatory and vasodilator agents.


ST elevation myocardial infarction, distal embolization, GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors, adenosine, nitroprusside


Oxford University Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.

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