JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
REVIEW
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Antithrombotic therapy in abdominal aortic aneurysm: beneficial or detrimental?

Blood 2018 December 21
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a degenerative vascular pathology resulting in significant morbidity and mortality in older adults due to rupture and sudden death. Despite 150 000 new cases and nearly 15 000 deaths annually, the only approved treatment of AAA is surgical or endovascular intervention when the risk for aortic rupture is increased. The goal of the scientific community is to develop novel pharmaceutical treatment strategies to reduce the need for surgical intervention. Because most clinically relevant AAAs contain a complex structure of fibrin, inflammatory cells, platelets, and red blood cells in the aneurysmal sac known as an intraluminal thrombus (ILT), antithrombotic therapies have emerged as potential pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of AAA progression. However, the efficacy of these treatments has not been shown, and the effects of shrinking the ILT may be as detrimental as they are beneficial. This review discusses the prospect of anticoagulant and antiplatelet (termed collectively as antithrombotic) therapies in AAA. Herein, we discuss the role of the coagulation cascade and platelet activation in human and animal models of AAA, the composition of ILT in AAA, a possible role of the ILT in aneurysm stabilization, and the implications of antithrombotic drugs in AAA treatment.

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