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Direct Thrombin Inhibitors for the Treatment of Acute Coronary Syndromes and During Percutaneous Coronary Interventions

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 30 ]


G. Paoli, P. A. Merlini and D. Ardissino   Pages 3919 - 3929 ( 11 )


As acute coronary syndromes are principally sustained by plaque complication and subsequent thrombus formation, anticoagulant therapy plays a central role in avoiding ischemic events; its main targets are thrombin activity and generation. Despite its limitations, such as its scarce ability to activate bound thrombin and its unpredictable pharmacological response, heparin is the most widely uzed drug for this purpose. Direct thrombin inhibitors are biologically superior to heparin principally because they inhibit clot-bound and circulating thrombin without interacting with other plasma proteins. Their clinical role in acute coronary syndromes and during coronary intervention has been tested in several trials. This article overviews the principal trials involving active-site direct thrombin inhibitors in acute coronary syndrome and during coronary intervention and compares their efficacy and safety with unfractionated heparin. It also describes ongoing trials and analyzes further clinical developments such as their use in addition to the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and the potential advantage possible with new agents orally administered.


direct thrombin inhibitors,heparin,acute coronary syndrome,percutaneous coronary intervention


, , Ospedale Maggiore, Via Gramsci 14, Parma, Italy.

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