Handbook of experimental pharmacology

Antiplatelet therapy in cerebrovascular disorders.

PMID 22918745


Antiplatelet treatment is a mainstay in acute and long-term secondary stroke prevention. Aspirin is still most widely used worldwide, however, there is increasing evidence from small randomised trials that dual antiplatelet therapy combining aspirin with dipyridamole or clopidogrel might be more effective in the acute and early chronic post-ischemic phase (i.e. first 90 days). Both clopidogrel and the combination of aspirin and extended-release dipyridamole are recommended by current guidelines in long-term secondary stroke prevention in patients who are at high risk for a recurrent ischemic stroke, since they are more effective compared with aspirin monotherapy. Antiplatelet agents are the therapy of choice in patients with ischemic stroke due to intracranial stenosis and patent foramen ovale. In contrast, oral anticoagulation is clearly superior to single or double antiplatelet therapy in patients with cardioembolic stroke, mainly caused by atrial fibrillation.Concerning newer antiplatelet agents, only cilostazol appears to be a promising therapeutic option in patients with ischemic stroke in the near future, but so far, only studies in Asian stroke patients have been performed.