Reviewing advances in cardiology and haematology together may appear at first sight to require some artificiality to make a satisfying fit. For two reasons, at least, this is not the case. Firstly, convergence in biology has become very clear over the past decade and this could not be better illustrated by the demonstration that the haemangioblast is the common progenitor of both haemapoietic stem cells and vascular endothelium. This opens the way to common (and differential) approaches to the manipulation of these cells, a field at present in its infancy. A second convergence is the common goal of understanding the processes resulting in haemostasis, thrombosis and vascular occlusion and the means for developing effective antithrombotics. This is exemplified by a number of agents either in use or in clinical trial as a result of haematological and cardiological collaboration. This collaboration is recognisable with the development, many years ago, of streptokinase and the use of aspirin in vascular disease and continues to this day with specific antiplatelet inhibitors and oral thrombin inhibitors as they become accepted into clinical use over the next few years. Here we review current advances in pharmacological treatments in cardiology and haematology, grouped primarily by disease process, focusing on novel and emerging therapies likely to be of importance in the future.
Keywords: cardiology, haematology, haemapoietic stem cells, haemostasis, thrombosis, vascular occlusion, haematological, cardiological collaboration, thrombin inhibitors
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