Successful management of patients after coronary angioplasty requires careful monitoring of the coagulation status in order to titrate heparin therapy and prevent thrombosis or bleeding. Traditionally, the activated partial thromboplastin time was used to monitor heparin therapy. Recently, however, use of activated clotting time is gaining more support because it can be performed at the bedside and is cost-effective. This article reviews the research on the use of activated clotting time in titrating heparin therapy in angioplasty patients. Although the literature supports the use of activated clotting time in angioplasty, limitations of the studies and the different methodologies used preclude generalization of results. More research is needed to confirm the efficiency and effectiveness of the activated clotting time in monitoring heparin therapy.

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