Rationale and clinical evidence for the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors in acute coronary syndromes

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Platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa blockade has the potential to advance treatment of acute coronary syndromes, both as a primary pharmacologic approach and an adjunct to interventional treatment strategies. The benefits of GP IIb/IIIa inhibition with the chimeric monoclonal antibody abciximab in preventing ischemic complications of interventional treatment have been well defined in patients with unstable angina. In the future, major therapeutic applications for this class of agents may include the stabilization of patients with unstable angina and potentially as single medical therapy, as several recently completed trials have suggested. Evidence also is accumulating on the use of GP IIb/IIIa blockade as adjunctive therapy in fibrinolytic approaches to treatment of acute myocardial infarction. Several ongoing trials are evaluating the safety and efficacy of this novel strategy. This article reflects a distillation of the views and consensus regarding the prospective use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors in patients with acute coronary syndromes expressed by a group of international experts convened in Davos, Switzerland, February 16, 1997. This report attempts to review clinical progress to date, formulate recommendations, and map out potentially fruitful lines of inquiry for future investigation.

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