The advent of platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor blockade has been one of the most significant advances in the treatment of coronary artery disease. This group of drugs has been widely tested both in patients with acute coronary syndromes who are being medically treated, as well as patients undergoing interventional procedures. Debate as to the optimal use if these agents remains spirited. This debate rests on several factors, including 1) economic issues, as these drugs are expensive, 2) controversy over the meaning of specific endpoints, eg, in an otherwise uncomplicated coronary intervention, the meaning of creatine phosphokinase elevation post-procedure, and 3) what is the risk benefit ratio given the costs involved and the potential risks? Several questions remain. Do all patients with acute coronary syndromes need this as a part of medical therapy? Do all patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions need this group of agents, or are there populations of patients who do not need them? Are there differences between the agents that are clinically important? Is there a specific device-drug interaction? Continued evaluation of these questions will facilitate improving the outcome of the diverse group of patients treated for coronary artery diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine