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Some Heart Patients May Respond Differently to Anti-platelet Drugs

Posted Nov 05 2012 9:24pm

The cause of heart attacks or strokes among some patients treated with anti-platelet drugs may be different than for patients who have undergone surgical procedures to restore blood flow, according to Duke Medicine researchers.

The finding — presented Nov. 4, 2012, at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions annual meeting and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association — provides new insights into a subset of heart patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) whose risk for cardiovascular events remained unchanged despite taking medicine that successfully reduced platelet clotting function.

“Platelet-rich clot formation after atherosclerotic plaque rupture plays a major role in the occurrence of ACS events, including heart attack and stroke,” said senior author Matthew T. Roe, M.D., MHS, a cardiologist at Duke and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. “It seems intuitive that by reducing the clotting tendency with anti-platelet drugs, we would see a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events, but our study shows that for some patients, this may be a more complex interaction.”

 

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