Cilostazol in the management of atherosclerosis

Fabrizio Sallustio, Federica Rotondo, Silvia Di Legge, Paolo Stanzione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The burden of atherosclerosis is particularly high in western countries in terms of mortality and disability. The cerebral arteries (stroke or transient ischemic attack [TIA]), coronary arteries (myocardial infarction [MI]) and peripheral arteries (intermittent claudication [IC], ischemic limb) can be affected. Atherosclerosis may involve different mechanisms such as inflammation, platelet activation, endothelial damage, balance between proliferation and apoptosis of smooth muscle cells and oxidative stress. Research is focused to counteract each of these aspects. Many antithrombotic drugs are currently available and most of them act as inhibitors of platelet function. Aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel and the combi- nation of aspirin plus dipyridamole are widely used for primary (in high-risk patients) and secondary prevention of athero- sclerotic diseases. Research of new pharmacological strategies is driven by the need to reduce the risk of bleeding associ- ated with the use of antiplatelet drugs. In this context cilostazol, a type III phosphodiesterase inhibitor, has demonstrated antiplatelet and vasodilator effects with low rate of bleeding complications. This review will focus on the pharmacological properties of cilostazol and its use in the management of atherothrombotic vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-372
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Vascular Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Antiplatelet agents
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cilostazol
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibitor
  • Vascular prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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