Document Detail

The discovery of aspirin's antithrombotic effects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17622365     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Aspirin has long been established as a useful analgesic and antipyretic. Even in ancient times, salicylate-containing plants such as the willow were commonly used to relieve pain and fever. In the 20th century, scientists discovered many details of aspirin's anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, including its molecular mechanism of action. In addition, the latter half of the century brought reports that daily, low doses of aspirin could prevent myocardial infarction and stroke. This finding was first reported by Lawrence Craven, a suburban general practitioner in Glendale, California. Unfortunately, Craven's work went largely unnoticed, and decades passed before his observations were verified by clinical trial. We present Craven's story, which demonstrates the value of a single physician's commitment to lifelong learning. In addition, we summarize the work of the physicians and scientists who discovered the molecular mechanisms by which aspirin exerts its antiplatelet effects. Collectively, these discoveries exemplify the complementary roles of basic science and clinical observation in advancing medicine.
Jonathan Miner; Adam Hoffhines
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Texas Heart Institute journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital     Volume:  34     ISSN:  0730-2347     ISO Abbreviation:  Tex Heart Inst J     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-07-11     Completed Date:  2007-08-01     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8214622     Medline TA:  Tex Heart Inst J     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  179-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aspirin / history*,  therapeutic use
Awards and Prizes
Fibrinolytic Agents / history*,  therapeutic use
History, 18th Century
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
History, 21st Century
Myocardial Infarction / history*,  prevention & control
Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / history*,  therapeutic use
Stroke / history*,  prevention & control
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fibrinolytic Agents; 0/Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors; 50-78-2/Aspirin
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
Lawrence Craven
Comment In:
Tex Heart Inst J. 2007;34(3):392-3   [PMID:  17948100 ]
Tex Heart Inst J. 2007;34(3):392   [PMID:  17948099 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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