Platelets play a central role in the regulation of both thrombosis and haemostasis yet tests of platelet function have, until recently, been exclusively used in the diagnosis and management of bleeding disorders. Recent advances have demonstrated the clinical utility of platelet function testing in patients with cardiovascular disease. The ex vivo measurement of response to antiplatelet therapies (aspirin and clopidogrel), by an ever-increasing array of platelet function tests, is, with some assays, predictive of adverse clinical events and thus, represents an emerging area of interest for both the clinician and basic scientist. This review article will describe the advantages and disadvantages of the currently available methods of measuring platelet function and will discuss both the limitations and emerging data supporting the role of platelet function studies in clinical practice.
Keywords: Aspirin, antiplatelet resistance, antiplatelet therapy, clopidogrel, platelet, platelet function testing, platelet reactivity, thrombosis, haemostasis, cardiovascular disease, vascular integrity, haemorrhage, atherothrombosis, Glanzmann thrombasthenia, Bernard Soulier syndrome, percutaneous coronary intervention, prothrombotic factors, glycoprotein, diabetes mellitus, acute myocardial infarction, Light Transmission Aggregometry, adenosine diphosphate, epinephrine, Thrombovision, Flow Cytometry, Platelet Activation Markers, Thromboxane, Thromboelastography, prostaglandin, T-Guide system, collagen, von Willibrand factor, arachidonic acid, laminar shear force, Glanzmann thrombastenia, vasodilatorstimulated phosphoprotein, coronary syndromes, serum TxB2, platelet cyclooxygenase-1 function, Factor XIII, cyclooxygenase
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