Therapeutic approach in acute coronary syndrome focusing on oral therapy

Department of Cardiology, University Department of Medicine, Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.
Acta clinica Croatica (Impact Factor: 0.34). 03/2010; 49(1):81-7.
Source: PubMed


In the light of some new information based on clinical evidence, current therapeutic approach to patients with acute coronary syndrome especially focusing on oral therapy is being considered. The initial stage of treatment does not differ greatly among patients with unstable angina pectoris (UA), non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), or ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). It is necessary to simultaneously resolve a series of problems within the first twenty minutes upon admission, i.e. risk assessment, selection of treatment strategy (conservative, invasive), relief of ischemic pain, determination of hemodynamic status and elimination of any undesired complications (hypertension, tachycardia, heart failure), and administration of antithrombotic therapy. Patients suffering from STEMI require reperfusion treatment, and the method of choice is primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) where available. Fibrinolytic reperfusion therapy is limited exclusively to STEMI within the first three hours from the onset of pain. Unlike this, in patients suffering from UA/NSTEMI it is necessary to make risk assessment in the early stage of disease, and thus select the patients that will certainly benefit from invasive treatment through PCI. For pain relief, the patient should be immediately administered nitroglycerin along with oxygen. Beta-blockers that are reasonably used in the initial stage of treatment during the first 24 hours, if not contraindicated, are still underused. Clopidogrel becomes an obligatory drug not only in patients having undergone PCI, but also in those treated conservatively following fibrinolysis.

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