Patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction require immediate reperfusion therapy. Reperfusion therapy can be provided by either pharmacologic or mechanical means. Pharmacologic reperfusion therapy consists of administering fibrinolytics, whereas mechanical reperfusion consists of performing percutaneous intervention, usually with stent placement. Each approach has been shown to decrease mortality, but each has disadvantages in establishing flow in the infarct-related artery. Regardless of the approach, during an acute myocardial infarction, activation and externalization of glycoprotein (GP) IIb-IIIa receptors occur on the surface of platelets. The GP IIb-IIIa inhibitors block the binding of fibrinogen to these platelet receptors. These inhibitors have been investigated in combination with both reperfusion strategies. The goal of adding GP IIb-IIIa inhibitor therapy to either reperfusion approach is to obtain better early, complete, and sustained reperfusion. Subsequently, this should lead to better clinical outcomes for patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction. Although no mortality benefit has been seen with the addition of GP IIb-IIIa inhibitor therapy, ischemic complications have been reduced significantly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)