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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Nov;24(11):1980-7. Epub 2004 Sep 23.

Aspirin and clopidogrel: efficacy, safety, and the issue of drug resistance.

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  • 1Unità di Ematologia e Trombosi, Ospedale San Paolo, Università di Milano, Via di Rudinì, 8, 20142 Milano, Italy.


Aspirin and the thienopyridines ticlopidine and clopidogrel are antiplatelet agents that display good antithrombotic activity. In the past few years, the concept of aspirin resistance has been largely emphasized in the medical literature, although its definition is still uncertain. I suggest that "aspirin-resistant" should be considered as a description for those individuals in whom aspirin fails to inhibit thromboxane A2 production, irrespective of the results of unspecific tests of platelet function, such as the bleeding time, platelet aggregation, or the PFA-100 system. Less well known than aspirin resistance, but certainly better characterized, is the issue of "clopidogrel resistance," which is probably mostly caused by inefficient metabolism of the prodrug clopidogrel to its active metabolite. At present, aspirin and clopidogrel resistance should not be looked for in the clinical setting, because there is no definite demonstration of an association with clinical events conditioning cost-effective changes in patient management.

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