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March 28, 1959


JAMA. 1959;169(13):1484-1486. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000300080014

THE advent of heparin and bishydroxycoumarin (Dicumarol) in the late 1930's and early 1940's as useful drugs for the management of thromboembolic disorders started a chain of events that went far beyond their use as agents for the treatment of thrombophlebitis. Anticoagulants have become generally accepted in the management of long-term and short-term therapy of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction1 and for the prevention or amelioration of certain cerebrovascular diseases.2 Their availability has opened new areas of investigation into the mechanism of blood coagulation. Their promising use in cerebrovascular disease has occasioned a new and more precise classification of cerebrovascular diseases because, in the words of a committee of the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, Public Health Service, the practitioner now has available powerful drugs which alter the coagulability of the blood. Hence diagnosis now becomes imperative not only as a