July 17, 2012
HOUSTON - An important update to the U.S. national guidelines concerning the treatment of patients suffering from unstable angina (chest pain) or a common form of heart attack (called non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction) was released yesterday by the joint task force on Practice Guidelines of the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Heart Association (AHA).
Hani Jneid, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, is the chair of the Writing Group and the lead author of the 2012 ACCF/AHA Guidelines update.
“Since the last update a year ago, the main addition is that medical professionals should consider Ticagrelor, an antiplatelet (blood-thinning) drug, as a treatment option in addition to other blood thinners already being used,” said Jneid, who is also assistant professor of medicine and director of interventional cardiology research at Baylor College of Medicine.
While Ticagrelor, approved by the FDA in 2011, does have benefits (anti-clotting action) and risks (bleeding), Jneid said it is on equal footing with other blood-thinning drugs already in use, in particular, Clopidogrel and Prasugrel.
The panel continues to recommend all patients receive aspirin immediately after hospitalization, continuing as long as it is tolerated. Among the other new recommendations:
Unstable angina occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough blood flow and oxygen because a coronary artery is partially blocked. In NSTEMI, there are also abnormal heart enzymes, indicating that some damage to heart muscle is already occurring.
Co-authors of the 2012 ACCF/AHA Guidelines include Jeffrey L. Anderson, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.; R. Scott Wright, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.; Cynthia D. Adams, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.H.A.; Charles R. Bridges, M.D., Sc.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.; Donald E. Casey, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., F.A.C.P., F.A.H.A.; Steven M. Ettinger, M.D., F.A.C.C.; Francis M. Fesmire, M.D., F.A.C.E.P.; Theodore G. Ganiats, M.D.; A. Michael Lincoff, M.D., F.A.C.C.; Eric D. Peterson, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.; George J. Philippides, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.; Pierre Theroux, M.D., FA.C.C., F.A.H.A.; Nanette K. Wenger, M.D., M.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.; and James Patrick Zidar, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I.
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