Do We Need Potent Intravenous Antiplatelet Inhibition at the Time of Reperfusion During ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction?

Joseph Allencherril, Mahboob Alam, Glenn Levine, Hani Jneid, Dan Atar, Robert A. Kloner, Yochai Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Acute myocardial infarction (MI) is still a large source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although early reperfusion therapy has been prioritized in the modern era of percutaneous coronary intervention and thrombolysis, attempts at incremental improvements in clinical outcomes by reducing MI size have not been successful so far. Herein, we review the studies that have evaluated immediate-onset antiplatelet therapy as attempts to improve meaningful clinical outcomes in ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI). Unfortunately, many of the adjunctive pharmacotherapies have proven to be disappointing. Recent studies performed in the background of routine oral administration of P2Y12 adenosine receptor inhibitors, which may take several hours to take full effect, and aspirin have largely shown no improvement in outcomes, despite an earlier onset of antiplatelet activity of the investigative agents. Further progress in improving outcomes during STEMI may depend on exploring therapeutics that modulate the pathophysiology of microvascular damage during ischemia–reperfusion injury, a phenomenon whose effects evolve over hours to days. We speculate that the dynamic nature of the no-reflow phenomenon may be an explanation for these disappointing results with the intravenous antiplatelet agents. We hope that appreciation for what has not worked in this domain may direct future research efforts to focus on novel pathways. Myocardial ischemia and reperfusion injury are very much still a lingering issue. Despite significant improvements in door-to-balloon times, rates of in-hospital mortality for STEMI remain unchanged. Outcomes following successfully reperfused STEMI are likely determined by the initial size of myocardial necrosis (ie, cardiomyocyte death during the period of ongoing ischemia), patency of the infarct-related epicardial coronary artery, possible reperfusion injury, the microvascular no-reflow phenomenon, and adverse remodeling after infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • ischemic heart disease
  • microvascular disease
  • myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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