Research ArticleCardiovascular Disease

Oral thrombin inhibitor aggravates platelet adhesion and aggregation during arterial thrombosis

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Science Translational Medicine  30 Nov 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 367, pp. 367ra168
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad6712

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The hidden side of an anticoagulant

For patients with atrial fibrillation and other conditions that predispose them to thrombosis, long-term anticoagulation treatment is the norm. Surprisingly, oral thrombin inhibitors, one of the types of anticoagulants used in humans, slightly increased the risk of acute coronary syndromes in clinical studies. To understand this apparent paradox, Petzold et al. compared the effects of treatment with oral thrombin inhibitors, treatment with vitamin K antagonists (another class of anticoagulants), or no treatment at all in patients’ blood and in mouse models of arterial thrombosis, confirming the observations from clinical studies and identifying some of the underlying mechanisms.