Atherothrombosis is an underlying condition that results in myocardial infarction (MI), ischemic stroke, and death.[1,2] As such, atherothrombosis is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, resulting in 36% of the deaths that occur. Platelet activation and aggregation play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of ischemic complications of atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). The central role of platelet activation and aggregation in both acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and ischemic complications following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) provides a rationale for the use of antiplatelet agents in the prevention and management of these conditions. It is important for clinicians to be aware of the available antiplatelet agents and the benefits and risks associated with their use in ACS.
Platelet aggregation plays a pivotal role in atherothrombotic disease. The central pathologic role of platelet activation and aggregation provides a rationale for the use of antiplatelet agents in the prevention and management of atherothrombosis.