Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]

Overview

Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, also GpIIb/IIIa inhibitors, are a class of antiplatelet agents.

Several GpIIb/IIIa inhibitors exist:

Indications

Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors are frequently used during percutaneous coronary interventions (angioplasty with or without intracoronary stent placement).

They work by preventing platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. They do so by inhibition of the GpIIb/IIIa receptor on the surface of the platelets. By blocking the GPIIbIIIa receptor, they block the ability of platelets to cross link via fibrinogen.

The agents in this class are administered intravenously. Oral forms of these agents were associated with increased mortality, possibly due to underdosing of the agents.

History

Their development arose from the understanding of Glanzmann's thrombasthenia, a condition in which the GpIIb/IIIa is lacking.[1]

Reference

  1. Seligsohn U. Glanzmann thrombasthenia: a model disease which paved the way to powerful therapeutic agents. Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2002 Sep-Dec;32(5-6):216-7. PMID 13679645. Free Full Text.

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