Several therapeutic agents have been tested for secondary prevention after acute myocardial infarction. Each patient presents a clinical challenge and gives the physician an opportunity to use the tests and therapy most likely to benefit the clinical course. The presence of other associated medical conditions, the type of myocardial infarction, the presence or absence of accompanying ischemia, left ventricular dysfunction, intracardiac thrombus, or ventricular arrhythmias dictate the choices that are to be made. It is apparent from this review that no single class of agents can be considered a cure, although beta-adrenergic blocking agents come the closest to this role. Analysis of these drugs helps individualize drug therapy and provides a physiologic probe to understanding the pathophysiologic processes that characterize the period after myocardial infarction. To address the impact of developing technology and drug availability on the practice and cost of medical care, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have developed guidelines for the management of patients with myocardial infarction. 124 The clinical trial remains the best test for the assessment of therapeutic choices and can also expand our knowledge of the natural history of the disease process. Nevertheless, the issue of appropriate therapy is ever-changing, affected by the explosion of new technology and the continued investigation into the pathophysiology of coronary artery disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine