The Evolution of Anticoagulation for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: A 40-Year Journey

Can J Cardiol. 2022 Oct;38(10 Suppl1):S89-S98. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2022.07.007. Epub 2022 Jul 16.


The selection of antithrombotic strategies continue to be of utmost importance during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and have evolved over the past 40 years. Although the backbone of therapy during PCI continues to be a combination of oral antiplatelets and parenteral anticoagulants, a variety of different approaches have been tested over time. In particular, different choices of anticoagulation management have been tested in the stable ischemic heart disease and acute coronary syndrome setting. Evaluation of alternative regimens in the quest to balance ischemic and bleeding risk have undoubtedly improved patient care with PCI. In the current review we highlight the evolution of evidence-based therapeutic options over the past 40 years from the beginning of coronary angioplasty to contemporary PCI. We provide insight into future therapeutic options and provide a contemporary overview of anticoagulation choices for patients who require PCI on the basis of up-to-date evidence balancing ischemic and bleeding risk and according to clinical presentation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / drug therapy
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors