Current concepts in the antithrombotic management of non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2004 Jul;6(4):279-86. doi: 10.1007/s11886-004-0077-9.


The recognition that thrombosis is fundamental to acute coronary syndromes (ACS) has inspired the development of novel therapies to inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. Several recent advances have been made in the management of patients with non-ST-segment elevation ACS (NSTE ACS) to improve early and late clinical outcomes. The research efforts leading to these improvements in care have focused on antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies coupled with early invasive treatment options. In particular, ongoing clinical trials seek to refine treatment strategies for patients relative to individual risk presentation, the availability of facilities for invasive procedures, and the timing of revascularization. However, even despite the proven efficacy of currently available therapies to reduce the occurrence of death and/or myocardial infarction, still many eligible patients with high-risk NSTE ACS do not receive such treatments. This review provides a pathophysiologic rationale for antithrombotic therapies in ACS, examines the results of recent trials, and presents future directions for clinical investigation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angina, Unstable / drug therapy*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / therapeutic use
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*


  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • Pyridines
  • thienopyridine
  • Aspirin