Abstract

Cannon, C. P., McLean, D. S. Critical pathways using platelet testing to potentially optimize the use of oral antiplatelet therapy Am J Cardiol. 2006;98(10A):33N-38N.

Although monitoring anticoagulation is standard practice, monitoring antiplatelet therapy has not yet widely been adopted as a means of assessing antithrombotic response. However, bedside devices have recently become available that facilitate more rapid assessment of antithrombotic response, allowing this information to be developed into a critical pathway. Three major opportunities exist for oral antiplatelet therapy: (1) optimizing the dose of aspirin for long-term therapy; (2) optimizing the dose of clopidogrel, especially in percutaneous coronary intervention, acutely and during long-term therapy; and (3) evaluating the level of platelet inhibition before coronary artery bypass grafting or other major surgery. Several critical pathways are proposed that may assist clinicians in trying to ensure adequate platelet inhibition in these important clinical situations.

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