Yet Another Doctor Blog On The Internet

Alpha-lipoic acid treatment of acetaminophen-induced rat liver damage.


Stroke is a leading cause of death and the primary cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Joint guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA), as well as recent guidelines from the Eighth American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) Conference on Antithrombotic and Antiplatelet Therapy, recommend aspirin, clopidogrel, or extended-release dipyridamole plus aspirin as acceptable first-line options for secondary prevention of ischemic events in patients with a history of ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). The ACCP strongly recommends the combination of extended-release dipyridamole plus aspirin over aspirin monotherapy (highest level of evidence) and suggests clopidogrel monotherapy over aspirin monotherapy (lower level of evidence). The AHA-ASA guidelines suggest that either extended-release dipyridamole plus aspirin or clopidogrel monotherapy should be used over aspirin monotherapy. Both guidelines recommend avoiding the combination of clopidogrel and aspirin for most patients with previous stroke or TIA. Results from recent trials evaluating combination antiplatelet therapy have been published that enhance the AHA-ASA recommendations and provide the foundation for the updated ACCP guideline. To identify pertinent combination antiplatelet trials, a MEDLINE search of the literature from 1967-2007 was performed. Two trials were identified--the European-Australasian Stroke Prevention in Reversible Ischemia Trial (ESPRIT) and Clopidogrel for High Atherothrombotic Risk and Ischemic Stabilization, Management, and Avoidance (CHARISMA). The ESPRIT compared aspirin monotherapy with the combination of aspirin plus extended-release dipyridamole for prevention of secondary ischemic events in patients with a history of TIA or minor stroke. The CHARISMA trial compared aspirin plus clopidogrel with aspirin alone in a population at high risk for atherothrombotic events using the composite outcome of myocardial infarction, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes. Data from ESPRIT add to evidence that the combination of aspirin plus extended-release dipyridamole is superior to aspirin alone. The findings of the CHARISMA trial reinforce recommendations from both AHA-ASA and ACCP that the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel be reserved for special populations requiring this antiplatelet combination (e.g., those who have had coronary artery stenting).

Aspirin, dipyridamole and clopidogrel are effective in secondary vascular prevention. Combination therapy with three antiplatelet agents might maximise the benefit of antiplatelet treatment in the secondary prevention of ischaemic stroke.

This review investigates whether the addition of dipyridamole to ASA further reduces the risk of stroke recurrence.

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is a severe multisystemic disorder of unknown origin. The association of relapsing TTP with pregnancy is rare but well documented and high mortality rates of mothers and fetuses have been reported so far. Since the introduction of plasma therapy for treating the acute exacerbations of the disease, overall mortality rates have decreased significantly. It is now evident that the manifestations of the disease may reappear even after long disease-free intervals and as many as a third of the recovering patients may develop a relapse. Presented are two TTP patients with relapsing TTP complicating their pregnancies. Prophylactic treatment with aspirin and dipyridamole during their last three successful pregnancies prevented or minimized the severity of TTP relapses. The course of these pregnancies and the management of such patients is discussed.

Remarkable therapeutic advances in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) have been made with combined antithrombotic therapy. Aspirin is accepted as standard therapy in the management of ACS but has significant limitations, including intolerance, resistance, and peptic ulceration. With the intravenous platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and the new thienopyridine clopidogrel, the options for acute and chronic antiplatelet therapy have expanded. Recently, the combination of antiplatelet therapy and oral anticoagulation has gained much interest and has been shown to be effective in secondary prevention of ACS. This article summarizes important recent findings on the background of existing pathological and clinical knowledge to provide an understanding of the basis of current combined antithrombotic therapy.

Stroke is a major public health issue, and stroke recurrence accounts for a quarter of all events. Antiplatelet therapy has been extensively studied for secondary stroke prevention and is established as effective in this high-risk population. Several agents have been evaluated in this setting, both in isolation and combination. The most widely used antiplatelet medications are aspirin, clopidogrel, and aspirin plus extended-release dipyridamole. However, new agents and combinations continue to be evaluated. A detailed review of the evidence supporting various antiplatelet regimens for secondary stroke prevention is outlined with special focus on recent developments that may impact clinical management of patients with stroke or TIA.