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Antithrombotic Strategies to Reduce Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome

      Acute coronary syndromes (ACSs), which include ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and unstable angina, present a considerable burden to the health care system. Furthermore, many patients with a first ACS event will develop another event within 1 year. To prevent this, higher-risk patients with ACS are revascularized when possible after presentation and then prescribed ongoing treatments to prevent recurrent vascular events. These include agents that prevent platelet aggregation and subsequent coronary thrombosis. However, some patients will develop a recurrent event despite treatment with these drugs, prompting a search for additional strategies to augment the effectiveness of current therapies. One such approach is add-on therapy with oral anticoagulant drugs. These agents may act synergistically with antiplatelet agents in preventing thrombosis. In conclusion, new oral anticoagulants might represent an attractive therapeutic strategy if they do not result in unacceptable bleeding.
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