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Pathophysiology and Pharmacologic Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism

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Venous thrombosis is a common medical disorder affecting nearly one million Americans each year. This review will focus primarily on the formation of venous thrombosis as well as current and future treatment options. While the full pathophysiology of venous thrombosis is not known, recent evidence points to a role for von Willebrand Factor, platelets, and neutrophils in thrombus formation. Many laboratory and imaging tests may be used for the diagnosis of venous thrombosis (VTE), but risk factor identification and clinical examination should not be overlooked as they are vital in assuring accurate treatment and patient identification. Historically heparin followed by a vitamin K antagonist has been the standard of care for treatment of VTE, but increasing data involving factor Xa inhibitors and direct thrombin inhibitors may mean a shift in first-line therapy in the very near future. Invasive therapies such as catheter-directed thrombolysis have also shown promise in the treatment of venous thrombosis and will likely see increased use in the future.
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Keywords: EKOS; Venous thrombolism; direct thrombin inhibitors; factor Xa inhibitors; heparin; pulmonary embolism; warfarin

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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