Monitoring Aspirin and Clopidogrel Response: Testing Controversies and Recommendations

Karathanos, Athanasios; Geisler, Tobias
June 2013
Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy;Jun2013, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p123
Academic Journal
Antiplatelet therapy is the cornerstone of the treatment for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Dual therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin is currently the standard treatment after percutaneous coronary interventions. However, despite the use of clopidogrel, a considerable number of patients continue to suffer major adverse cardiac events. There is a growing degree of evidence supporting high on-treatment platelet reactivity (HPR) as a predictive factor for recurrent ischemic complications. Numerous studies have shown an interindividual variability of responsiveness to clopidogrel and aspirin, which is one of the reasons for HPR. There is yet to be established an assay for antiplatelet drug response as the gold standard. This paper provides a background to the current controversies surrounding the issue of testing for the effectiveness of antiplatelet therapy and reviews the various genetic and phenotype-based laboratory tests to measure aspirin and clopidogrel response and their correlation with clinical outcomes. On the basis of the current evidence and trying to be cost-effective, testing should be considered on a case-by-case basis, especially in patients who present with an acute coronary syndrome or stent thrombosis. In the case of stable CAD, we think that testing might be helpful in particular risk groups of patients to avoid ischemic or bleeding complications.


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