Platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa-receptor inhibitors in patients with acute coronary syndromes or undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions: a review

K M Truong, K Amankwa, S Kucukarslan
Clinical Therapeutics 2001, 23 (8): 1145-65; discussion 1129

BACKGROUND: Over 12.2 million Americans are affected by acute coronary syndromes (ACS) resulting from arterial thrombosis after atherosclerotic plaque rupture. The mechanism of thrombosis is based on the platelet activation pathway, facilitated by expression of the platelet glycoprotein (GP) lIb/Illa receptors. The platelet GP IIb/IIIa-receptor inhibitors represent a new class of drugs, of which abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban have been approved for use in the medical management of ACS and as adjunctive therapy in percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs).

OBJECTIVE: This article reviews the results of published multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials of the efficacy and safety of platelet GP IIb/IIIa-receptor inhibitors in patients with coronary artery disease.

METHODS: To identify articles for this review, a search of MEDLINE for the years 1994 through 2000 was conducted using the key words myocardial ischemia, unstable angina, angioplasty, stent, abciximab, eptifibatide, tirofiban, lamifiban, and platelet aggregation inhibitors. Relevant review articles were consulted as well as reports of clinical studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Three GP IIb/IIIa-receptor inhibitors--abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban-are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as adjunctive therapy in patients undergoing PCI. Eptifibatide and tirofiban 'are also indicated for the medical management of patients with unstable angina and non-ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction. The use of GP IIb/IIIa-receptor inhibitors as a component of management with fibrinolytic agents is under investigation. Studies comparing the efficacy of tirofiban and abciximab in patients undergoing planned PCI with intracoronary stent placement are in progress. Until data are available from long-term trials and head-to-head comparisons of these agents, it is not possible to generalize about their overall or comparative efficacy.

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