Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases continue to be leading causes of death throughout the world. Blood platelets play a pivotal role not only in haemostasis but also in the pathogenesis of thrombosis and atherosclerosis, platelet aggregation being an essential step in the formation of either an effective haemostatic plug or an intravascular thrombus. The benefits of various antiplatelet therapies ranging from aspirin, ticlopidine, Clopidogrel, and intravenous platelet GPIIb / IIIa antagonists in various thromboembolic disorders are well documented. Despite of the success of intravenous acute GPIIb / IIIa blockade when given in conjunction with heparin, chronic oral GPIIb / IIIa antagonists with or without aspirin failed in various cardiovascular settings. This review highlights the role of the various antiplatelet therapies in thrombotic disorders as well as future directions.
Keywords: antiplatelet therapies, cerebrovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, intravascular thrombus, clopidogrel, platelet gpIIb/IIIa antagonists, thromboembolic disorders, thrombotic disorders
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