• Abciximab;
  • Coronary artery disease;
  • Glycoprotein inhibitors;
  • Myocardial infarction


Platelets play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction. Therefore, great interests have been focused in the last decades on improvement in antiplatelet therapies, that currently are regarded as main pillars in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease, with special attention to glycoprotein IIb-IIIa (GP IIb-IIIa) receptors, that mediates the final stage of platelet activation. GP IIb-IIIa inhibitors, especially abciximab, have been shown to improve clinical outcome in patients undergoing primary angioplasty for STEMI. Upstream administration cannot routinely recommended, but may potentially be considered among high-risk patients within the first 4 h from symptoms onset. In case of periprocedural administration of antithrombotic therapy, Bivalirudin should be considered, especially in patients at high risk for bleeding complications. Among high-risk patients with acute coronary syndromes, an early invasive strategy with selective downstream administration of GP IIb-IIIa inhibitors is the strategy of choice, whereas bivalirudin should be considered in patients at high risk for bleeding complications. Among patients with unstable angina GP IIb-IIIa inhibitors should be considered only in case of evidence of intracoronary thrombus or in case of thrombotic complications (as provisional use). Further, randomized trials are certainly needed in the era of new oral antiplatelet therapies, and with strategies to prevent bleeding complications such as larger use of radial approach, mechanical closure devices, bivalirudin, or postprocedural protamine administration to promote early sheat removal.