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The World in Medicine
March 14, 2001

Just Say NO to Aspirin?

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JAMA. 2001;285(10):1283. doi:10.1001/jama.285.10.1283-JWM10002-2-1

A nitric oxide (NO)–releasing form of aspirin shows promise in animal studies as a way to prevent scarring and reclogging of blood vessels after angioplasty, according to a team of researchers from Italy and the United States (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001;98:2860-2864).

Investigators from Italy's University of Naples and University of Salerno; the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine; and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine discovered that even low dosages of NCX-4016, the NO–releasing aspirin derivative, were significantly more effective than aspirin alone in reducing postangioplasty restenosis in mice that are genetically prone to develop atherosclerosis when fed a high-cholesterol diet. The protective effect was even greater when the drug was given 1 week before angioplasty.