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Review
. 2016 Mar;14(2):175-84.
doi: 10.2450/2015.0096-15. Epub 2015 Dec 16.

The Evolution of Anticoagulant Therapy

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Free PMC article
Review

The Evolution of Anticoagulant Therapy

Massimo Franchini et al. Blood Transfus. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Arterial and venous thromboembolism are leading causes of morbidity and mortality around the world. For almost 70 years, heparins (unfractionated heparin and low molecular weight heparins) and vitamin K antagonists have been the leading therapeutic medical options for the treatment and prevention of thromboembolic disorders. Nevertheless, the many limitations of these traditional anticoagulants have fuelled the search for novel agents over the past 15 years, and a new class of oral anticoagulants that specifically target activated factor X and thrombin has been developed and is now commercially available. In this narrative review, the evolution of anticoagulant therapy is summarised, with a focus on newer oral anticoagulants.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Biological targets of anticoagulant agents. FVII: factor VII; TF: tissue factor; FXI: factor XI; FXIa: activated factor XI; FIX: factor IX; FIXa: activated factor IX; FX: factor X; FXa: activated factor X; VKA: vitamin K antagonist; F: factor; LMWH: low molecular weight heparin; TF: tissue factor; UFH: unfractionated heparin; FII: factor II; FIIa: activated factor II.

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