Platelet adhesion, activation, and aggregation are central to the propagation of coronary thrombosis following rupture, fissure, or erosion of an atherosclerotic plaque. This chain of deleterious events underlies the pathophysiological process leading to an acute coronary syndrome. Therefore, oral antiplatelet therapy has become the cornerstone of therapy for the management of acute coronary syndrome and the prevention of ischemic complications associated with percutaneous coronary intervention. Landmark trials have established aspirin, and the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin, as key therapeutic agents in the context of acute coronary syndrome and percutaneous coronary intervention. Dual antiplatelet therapy has been the guideline-mandated standard of care in acute coronary syndrome and percutaneous coronary intervention. Despite the proven efficacy of dual antiplatelet therapy, adverse ischemic events continue to occur and this has stimulated the development of novel, more potent antiplatelet agents. We focus this state-of-the-art review on the most recent advances in oral antiplatelet therapy, treading the tightrope of potency versus bleeding risk, the quest to determine the optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy and future of personalized antiplatelet therapy.
Keywords: Antiplatelet; acute coronary syndrome; aspirin; clopidogrel; percutaneous coronary intervention; prasugrel; ticagrelor.