Point-of-care testing for assessment of adequacy of oral antiplatelet therapy in patients with cardiovascular disease
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Studies with recently introduced point-of-care (POC) platelet function tests have shown that individuals are variably responsive to aspirin and clopidogrel therapy, and that hyporesponsiveness to antiplatelet therapy is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. However, the currently available POC tests have undergone only limited clinical evaluation and clinicians are uncertain about the best POC test, the optimal cut-off point to define hyporesponsiveness in different patient populations and clinical settings, the appropriate management of patients demonstrating hyporesponsiveness and the cost effectiveness of adjusting treatment on the basis of the results of POC platelet function testing. Several large randomized controlled trials currently underway are examining whether adjusting antiplatelet therapy on the basis of a POC test result can improve patient-important outcomes. Until these issues are resolved, POC testing to monitor antiplatelet therapy will largely remain a research tool and patients should continue to receive oral antiplatelet therapy without routine monitoring at doses that have been demonstrated to be effective in randomized controlled trials.
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