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June 15, 1979

Status of Antiplatelet Drugs in Coronary Heart Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine (Dr J. Mehta), and the Division of Hematology/Oncology Department of Pediatrics (Dr P. Mehta), University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, and the Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr J. Mehta), Gainesville, Fla.

JAMA. 1979;241(24):2649-2651. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290500051026

A RECENT report suggesting prevention of cardiac death after myocardial infarction in patients given sulfinpyrazone1 has renewed interest in antiplatelet drugs within the medical profession. During the last few years, it has become clear that blood platelets are involved in arterial and venous obstruction and in the origin of smooth-muscle hypertrophy and possibly atherogenesis. If altered platelet function is related to the pathogenesis of coronary disease and subsequent cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, the use of antiplatelet drugs in patients with coronary heart disease would be rationalized. Our purpose is to review information on the role of platelets in coronary artery disease and to show how antiplatelet drugs might affect platelet function and thereby influence coronary vascular disease.

Role of Platelet Function in Coronary Artery Disease  In animal models of myocardial ischemia induced by experimental coronary narrowing, platelet aggregates appear within a short time in coronary vessels.2,3 These aggregates