Current Cardiology Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 301-312

First online:

Glycoprotein receptor inhibitors in the management of acute coronary syndromes

  • Henock Saint-JacquesAffiliated withDuke Clinical Research Institute
  • , Robert A. HarringtonAffiliated withDuke Clinical Research Institute

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Coronary thrombosis and the risk of clinical adverse events remains high despite considerable advances in the management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) with the combined use of aspirin, heparin, fibrinolytic therapy, and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Platelet aggregation and thrombosis play a key role in the pathogenesis of unstable coronary syndromes. Over the past several years, multiple placebocontrolled trials involving more than 50,000 ACS patients have shown that blockade of the platelet receptor glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa, the final pathway in platelet aggregation, reduces the incidence of ischemic complications among patients with ACS. Three agents (abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban) are currently approved for use with aspirin and heparin in the management of ACS or during percutaneous coronary intervention. They have consistently been shown to reduce the incidence of death or myocardial infarction in the ACS population including the patients not routinely scheduled for early revascularization. They provide an augmented treatment effect among high-risk ACS patients, particularly those who have a baseline troponin-t-positive status. Recently published practice guidelines have recommended their use in high-risk patients with ACS and all those undergoing PCI.