The emerging role of low-molecular-weight heparin in cardiovascular medicine
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Although unfractionated heparin is widely used in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes, it has several pharmacokinetic, biophysical, and biological limitations. The practical advantages and success of low-molecular-weight heparin administered subcutaneously without laboratory monitoring for the treatment of venous thromboembolism have prompted a number of randomized studies investigating the efficacy and safety of these agents in patients with acute coronary syndromes. This article will review the limitations of unfractionated heparin and the mechanisms by which low-molecular-weight heparin overcomes these limitations, as well as the results of recent trials involving low-molecular-weight heparin in the management of patients with acute coronary syndromes.
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