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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Is the effect of antihypertensive drugs on platelet aggregability and fibrinolysis clinically relevant?

Hypertension is associated with decreased fibrinolytic potential, mainly expressed as elevated plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) levels, and increased platelet aggregability, which may account in part for the increased risk of atherosclerosis and its clinical complications in hypertensive patients. The effects of antihypertensive drugs on this prothrombotic state have been investigated and controversial findings have been reported, possibly because of differences in study designs, patients selected, and methodology used. Scarce and conflicting data exist about the effects of diuretics and beta-adrenoceptor antagonists on the fibrinolytic system, whereas ACE inhibitors have generally been reported to improve the fibrinolytic balance by decreasing plasma PAI-1 levels, calcium channel antagonists have been shown to increase tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) activity, and angiotensin II type 1 (AT(1)) receptor antagonists seem to exert neutral effects. beta-Adrenoceptor antagonists, calcium channel antagonists, and AT(1)-receptor antagonists have been reported to exert anti-aggregatory effects on platelets, while contrasting data exist about the influence of ACE inhibitors. Clinical implications of the changes induced by antihypertensive drugs on the fibrinolytic balance and platelet function are still debated. In particular, the question of whether these changes may translate into different degrees of cardiovascular protection in hypertensive patients remains unanswered. While awaiting more information from clinical trials, the choice of antihypertensive drugs, particularly in high-risk patients, should take into account effects beyond their BP-lowering efficacy. Selected agents should have a favorable, or at least neutral, impact on fibrinolytic function and platelet activity.[1]


  1. Is the effect of antihypertensive drugs on platelet aggregability and fibrinolysis clinically relevant? Fogari, R., Zoppi, A. American journal of cardiovascular drugs : drugs, devices, and other interventions. (2005) [Pubmed]
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