Current Status and Future Direction of Antithrombotic Therapy for Patients with STEMI Undergoing Primary PCI

Rosanne F. Vogel, Ronak Delewi, Lina Badimon, Dominick J. Angiolillo, Georgios J. Vlachojannis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Since the introduction of the first pharmacological therapy for the treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction in the early 20th century, treatment of myocardial infarction has evolved extensively throughout the years. Mechanical revascularization therapies such as the percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, combined with the ongoing development of pharmacological therapies have successfully improved the survival of patients with acute myocardial infarction. To date, antiplatelet therapy (consisting of aspirin and an oral P2Y12 inhibitor) and anticoagulation therapy represent the main stay of pharmacological treatment in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The routine use of clopidogrel as antiplatelet agent has been largely replaced by the use of the more potent P2Y12 inhibitors ticagrelor and prasugrel. Unfractionated heparin remains the preferred anticoagulant therapy, despite the development of other anticoagulants, including enoxaparin and bivalirudin. To date, limited evidence exists supporting a pre-hospital initiation of antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy in STEMI patients. The use of potent intravenous antiplatelet agents, including the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and the intravenous P2Y12 inhibitor cangrelor, is currently restricted to specific clinical settings. While several potent antithrombotic agents already exist, the search for novel potent antithrombotic agents continues, with a focus on balancing antithrombotic properties with an improved safety profile to reduce excess bleeding. This review provides an overview of currently available pharmacological therapies for the treatment of STEMI patients undergoing primary PCI, and an outlook for the ongoing development of novel agents in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number297
JournalReviews in cardiovascular medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022


  • ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction
  • anticoagulation
  • antiplatelet therapy
  • antithrombotic therapy
  • primary percutaneous coronary intervention

Cite this