Platelet activation, coagulation activation and C-reactive protein in simultaneous samples from the vascular access and peripheral veins of haemodialysis patients

J. A. Milburn, I. Ford, K. Cassar, N. Fluck, J. Brittenden

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Introduction: Most studies of haemodialysis (HD) patients compare venous blood samples from controls with samples from the vascular access (VA) of HD patients. We hypothesised that VA samples may be more prothrombotic compared with venous samples.

Methods: Samples were taken simultaneously from the VA and the contralateral antecubital vein, from 26 patients immediately before HD. Platelet function was assessed by (1) flow cytometric measurement of P-selectin expression and fibrinogen binding (±ADP) and 2)Ultegra rapid platelet function assay. Plasma soluble P-selectin, von Willebrand factor antigen, high sensitivity C-reactive Protein (hs-CRP), thrombin-antithrombin III complex and D-dimer measured by ELISA.

Results: Thrombin receptor activating peptide-induced platelet aggregation (P < 0.001) and hs-CRP (P < 0.001) were higher in VA compared with venous samples. Unstimulated platelet fibrinogen binding (P = 0.016) and ADP-stimulated P-selectin expression (P = 0.008) were lower in VA compared with venous samples. The significant difference in hsCRP persisted when patients taking and not taking antiplatelet therapy were analysed separately, but platelet activation remained significantly different only in the nonantiplatelet group.

Conclusion: There are statistically significant differences between sampling sites, although samples from the VA do not appear to be more pro-thrombotic. Future studies comparing HD patients with controls should ensure uniformity of sampling sites to prevent inaccurate conclusions being drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52–58
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Laboratory Haematology
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012



  • platelets
  • blood coagulation
  • haemodialysis
  • vascular access
  • platelet activation
  • thrombosis
  • venipuncture

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