Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) represent a life-threatening complication of the systemic atherosclerotic process, affecting the coronary circulation. Thrombosis, defined as an uncontrolled activation of the endogenous thrombogenetic reparative process, often follows atherosclerotic plaque damage and is mainly engaged by two main pathways: platelet aggregation and coagulation. Therefore, antithrombotic therapy to modulate either pathway plays an important role for the reduction of ischaemic adverse events in ACS patients. Since the advent of aspirin and warfarin, numerous antiaggregant and anticoagulant molecules have been developed to achieve this goal, but their anti-ischaemic efficacy is often obtained at the price of augmented bleedings, which are known to be strong predictors of adverse outcome. This article briefly reviews the physiopathological mechanisms of thrombosis and presents an overview of the available literature supporting the use of these major drugs, as well as the European Society of Cardiology recommendations for their utilisation in the setting of non-ST and ST-elevation myocardial infarction undergoing invasive treatment.
Gabriele Pesarini - Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Italy
Sara Ariotti - Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Italy
Flavio Ribichini - Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Italy