Antiplatelet therapy in children: why so different from adults'?
ABSTRACT Antiplatelet agents are administered in the treatment of a large number of adult diseases: coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, arrhythmias with their thromboembolic complications, primary and secondary prevention. In childhood however, the situation is substantially different. The lack of large interventional trials on the use of antiplatelet drugs in children, has led to greater uncertainty, and a less extensive use of these drugs, limited to fewer indications. The purpose of this article was to review the studies conducted to date on the use of antiplatelet agents in children. A concerted effort has been made to identify which are the shared therapeutic indications of this class of compounds, the recommended dose, the contraindications and the possible side effects. In brief, an attempt has been made to ascertain the interesting potential of these drugs which are so often neglected in children.
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ABSTRACT: A large number of adults worldwide suffer from essential hypertension, and because blood pressures (BPs) tend to remain within the same percentiles throughout life, it has been postulated that hypertensive pressures can be tracked from childhood to adulthood. Thus, children with higher BPs are more likely to become hypertensive adults. These "pre-hypertensive" subjects can be identified by measuring arterial BP at a young age, and compared with age, gender and height-specific references. The majority of studies report that 1 to 5% of children and adolescents are hypertensive, defined as a BP > 95(th) percentile, with higher prevalence rates reported for some isolated geographic areas. However, the actual prevalence of hypertension in children and adolescents remains to be fully elucidated. In addition to these young "pre-hypertensive" subjects, there are also children and adolescents with a normal-high BP (90(th)-95(th) percentile). Early intervention may help prevent the development of essential hypertension as they age. An initial attempt should be made to lower their BP by non-pharmacologic measures, such as weight reduction, aerobic physical exercise, and lowered sodium intake. A pharmacological treatment is usually needed should these measures fail to lower BP. The majority of antihypertensive drugs are not formulated for pediatric patients, and have thus not been investigated in great detail. The purpose of this review is to provide an update concerning juvenile hypertension, and highlight recent developments in epidemiology, diagnostic methods, and relevant therapies.