The clotting cascade is discussed in detail in Chap 210. Arterial thrombi, composed primarily of platelets bound by thin fibrin strands, develop under high-flow conditions, especially at sites of ruptured atherosclerotic plaques. Both anticoagulants and platelet-inhibiting drugs effectively prevent and treat arterial thrombosis. In contrast, venous thrombi form in areas of sluggish blood flow, and are composed mainly of red blood cells and large fibrin strands. Anticoagulant drugs are effective in preventing and treating venous thromboembolism, while platelet-suppressing agents are less important.1
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