Antiplatelet therapy for peripheral artery disease
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular (CV) disease represents one of leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Western countries. An increased risk of CV events was identified in patients with peripheral arterial diseases (PADs), which include all arterial diseases, other than coronary arteries and the aorta. In particular, lower extremity artery disease (LEAD) and/or carotid artery disease present growing incidence in general population and a consequent increase in mortality and morbidity. Medical treatment, including antiplatelet therapy, is a cornerstone in management of these patients, even when they are treated with endovascular or surgical procedures. Despite their clinical relevance, data on optimal antiplatelet treatment in this clinical setting are lacking and often derived from clinical trials on coronary artery disease and by subgroups analysis. The purpose of this review is to examine the available data from registries, randomized trials and meta-analysis on antiplatelet treatment in patients with LEAD and carotid stenosis with the aim to provide evidence to support clinical decision making.