Background: Therapy with either low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists is of benefit to patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). However, algorithms that define how LMWH may be used in patients, proceeding from medical management to intervention and in conjunction with GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors, are lacking. The objectives of this task force were to formulate recommendations based on all available data for the use of LMWH, both with and without GP IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists, and to provide seamless integration of care during the transition from medical to interventional management. Methods and Results: An international task force of 14 cardiologists with extensive experience in clinical trials was convened in New York in February 2001 to address issues related to the use of LMWH in patients with non-ST-elevation ACS. Evidence from randomized trials, observational studies, and other reports was discussed, and consensus recommendations were formulated. Conclusions: Substantial evidence exists that patients receiving LMWH for an ACS can safely undergo cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention. Concerns regarding the transition of these patients from the medical service to the cardiac catheterization laboratory should therefore not impede the upstream use of LMWH. Furthermore, LMWH and GP IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists can be used safely in combination, with no apparent increase in the risk of major bleeding. Consensus algorithms for therapy are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine