and venous thromboses are major causes of morbidity and mortality.
Whereas arterial thrombosis is the most common cause of myocardial
infarction, stroke, and limb gangrene, venous thrombosis leads to
pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal, and to postphlebitic syndrome.
Because arterial thrombi consist of platelet aggregates held together
by small amounts of fibrin, strategies to inhibit arterial
thrombogenesis focus mainly on drugs that block platelet function, but
they often include anticoagulants to prevent fibrin deposition. In
contrast, anticoagulants are the drugs of choice for prevention of
cardioembolic events. Anticoagulants also are used for prevention and
treatment of venous thrombosis, because venous thrombi are comprised
mainly of fibrin and RBCs.