Antithrombotic therapy for coronary artery disease: the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy

Robert A Harrington, Richard C Becker, Michael Ezekowitz, Thomas W Meade, Christopher M O'Connor, David A Vorchheimer, Gordon H Guyatt
Chest 2004, 126 (3 Suppl): 513S-548S
This chapter about antithrombotic therapy for coronary artery disease (CAD) is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients' values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S-187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients presenting with non-ST-segment elevation (NSTE) acute coronary syndrome (ACS), we recommend immediate and then daily oral aspirin (Grade 1A). For patients with an aspirin allergy, we recommend immediate treatment with clopidogrel, 300-mg bolus po, followed by 75 mg/d indefinitely (Grade 1A). In all NSTE ACS patients in whom diagnostic catheterization will be delayed or when coronary bypass surgery will not occur until > 5 days, we recommend clopidogrel as bolus therapy (300 mg), followed by 75 mg/d for 9 to 12 months in addition to aspirin (Grade 1A). In NSTE ACS patients in whom angiography will take place within 24 h, we suggest beginning clopidogrel after the coronary anatomy has been determined (Grade 2A). For patients who have received clopidogrel and are scheduled for coronary bypass surgery, we recommend discontinuing clopidogrel for 5 days prior to the scheduled surgery (Grade 2A). In moderate- to high-risk patients presenting with NSTE ACS, we recommend either eptifibatide or tirofiban for initial (early) treatment in addition to treatment with aspirin and heparin (Grade 1A). For the acute treatment of NSTE ACS, we recommend low molecular weight heparins over unfractionated heparin (UFH) [Grade 1B] and UFH over no heparin therapy use with antiplatelet therapies (Grade 1A). We recommend against the direct thrombin inhibitors as routine initial antithrombin therapy (Grade 1B). For patients after myocardial infarction, after ACS, and with stable CAD, we recommend aspirin in doses from 75 to 325 mg as initial therapy and in doses of 75 to 162 mg as indefinite therapy (Grade 1A). For patients with contraindications to aspirin, we recommend long-term clopidogrel (Grade 1A). For primary prevention in patients with at least moderate risk for a coronary event, we recommend aspirin, 75 to 162 mg/d, over either no antithrombotic therapy or vitamin K antagonist (VKA) [Grade 2A]; for patients at particularly high risk of events in whom the international normalized ratio (INR) can be monitored without difficulty, we suggest low-dose VKA (target INR, 1.5) [Grade 2A].

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