Medical Therapy for Secondary Prevention of Atherothrombotic Events in Peripheral Artery Disease

Heart Int. 2021 Jul 21;15(1):14-19. doi: 10.17925/HI.2021.15.1.14. eCollection 2021.


Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) are at risk for severe morbidity and mortality, including ischaemic-related events. Furthermore, there is heterogeneity within the PAD population, where the drivers of risk for cardiovascular and limb-specific ischaemic events differ. Patients with PAD with concomitant coronary artery disease are at increased risk for cardiovascular ischaemic events, whereas patients with PAD with a prior history of lower-extremity revascularization are at increased risk for limb-specific ischaemic events. The current therapeutic challenge is identifying these risk factors to tailor therapy optimally for each patient. Additionally, the majority of our current medical therapeutics in patients with PAD have been shown to reduce atherothrombotic events, such as myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death, with a paucity of medical therapeutics specifically targeting a reduction in limb-specific ischaemic events. Over the past several years, there have been several contemporary clinical trials evaluating antithrombotic agents and their efficacy in reducing limb-specific ischaemic events. Specifically, rivaroxaban, with the addition of aspirin, has emerged as an efficacious therapeutic. In this article, we provide a review of the current clinical burden of PAD, the rationale behind current PAD medical therapeutics and the contemporary trials that have described the benefit of a novel therapeutic in PAD, rivaroxaban.

Keywords: Peripheral artery disease; acute limb ischaemia; amputation; coronary artery disease; rivaroxaban.

Publication types

  • Review

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Support: No funding was received in the publication of this article.