Purpose Statement

The field of coronary intervention has expanded dramatically over the past decade and will continue to evolve over the next several years.1 New data prompted the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to update percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) treatment guidelines. The goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality of the 1.5 million patients globally who undergo PCI every year.

Additionally, despite extensive technologic advancements in the field, pharmacotherapy has remained the cornerstone of treatment. Optimizing the ischemic complications mediated through a complex coagulation cascade, with the ever-present risk of bleeding from antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, has remained a challenge for clinicians. Issues such as "resistance" and questions surrounding the proper length of antiplatelet therapy leave many patients inappropriately protected against cardiovascular events while taking the current standard of care.2

Presented as a CME-accredited Journal Club, this program will present the evidence in both print and online (downloadable audio formats— podcasts) on www.CardioVillage.com, an educational website visited by interested physicians to addresses these issues with the hope of educating cardiologists about emerging treatment strategies that promise to optimize therapy and improve patient care.

1. Michelson A, ed. Platelets San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 2002.
2. Kandzari DE. Future perspectives on antithrombin and antiplatelet therapies: novel antiplatelet and antithrombin therapies. Rev Cardiovasc Med. 2006;7 Suppl 3:S43-52.

Needs Assessment

Antiplatelet drugs have become a core element of modern cardiovascular clinical practice, contributing immeasurably to the prevention and treatment of a wide range of cardiac, vascular, and cerebrovascular conditions and events. A number of promising new antiplatelet therapies are currently in development, creating significant growth in the amount of available data on the benefits and potential roles of antiplatelet therapy. Unfortunately, for may clinicians, the relative strengths and weaknesses of different antiplatelet agents may be unclear, and coherent, focused education is needed to keep physicians updated on the available options for preventing and treating thrombosis, post-PCI ischemic events, ACS, and the broad and ever expanding range of other conditions where antiplatelet therapies may be indicated.

In particular, many of the limitations of current antiplatelet therapies, such as variability of response and appropriate length of therapy for different patient populations, may not always be well understood by health care providers. Education is needed to help optimize the use of the existing therapies to improve patient outcomes where possible while identifying areas for future development and improvement.

Education on the action, efficacy, and safety of emerging antiplatelet therapies is also warranted to assist physicians with understanding the benefits and potential of these novel agents to improve patient outcomes. This is particularly true in areas where more traditional antiplatelet therapies may be inadequate or sub-optimal due to concerns over complications and limitations.

Target Audience

This activity is targeted to cardiologists and other medical professionals who diagnose and treat patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Learning Objectives

The participant should be able to:


This activity is jointly sponsored by the University of Virginia Office of Continuing Medical Education and CJP Medical Communications. It is funded by independent educational grants from Daiichi Sankyo and Eli Lilly & Company.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the University of Virginia Office of Continuing Medical Education and CJP Medical Communications. The University of Virginia Office of Continuing Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

This activity is approved for 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in this activity.

Faculty Disclosure/Conflict of Interest

The University of Virginia School of Medicine, as an ACCME accredited provider, endorses and strives to comply with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards of Commercial Support, Commonwealth of Virginia statutes, University of Virginia policies and procedures, and associated federal and private regulations and guidelines on the need for disclosure and monitoring of proprietary and financial interests that may affect the scientific integrity and balance of content delivered in continuing medical education activities under our auspices.

The University of Virginia School of Medicine requires that all CME activities accredited through this institution be developed independently and be scientifically rigorous, Journal club 1 balanced, and objective in the presentation/discussion of its content, theories, and practices.

All authors/editors participating in an accredited CME activity are expected to disclose to the readers relevant financial relationships with commercial entities occurring within the past 12 months (such as grants or research support, employee, consultant, stock holder, member of speakers bureau, etc.). The University of Virginia School of Medicine will employ appropriate mechanisms to resolve potential conflicts of interest to maintain the standards of fair and balanced education to the reader. Questions about specific strategies can be directed to the Office of Continuing Medical Education, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Disclaimer Statement

Medical information is ever changing, transformed frequently by new research and clinical experience. While every effort is made to present accurate information, no warranty, expressed or implied, is offered. Furthermore, the use should also use his/her own judgment, knowledge, experience, and diagnostic decision-making before applying any information to any professional or personal use.

The information contained and displayed within this enduring material is provided solely for educational and discussion purposes.

Term of Offering

This activity was released on March 28, 2008 and is valid for 1 year. Requests for credit must be made no later than March 27, 2009.

Contact Information

For questions regarding continuing medical education credits for this activity, please contact:

John A. Owen, EdD, MS
Office of Continuing Medical Education
University of Virginia School of Medicine
PO BOX 800711
Charlottesville, Virginia 22908
Tel: 434-924-5318
Email: JAO2B@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu