Platelet activation is increased in peripheral arterial disease

Kevin Cassar, P. Bachoo, Michael Greaves, Julie Brittenden, Isobel Ford

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Objective: Platelet activation was assessed in patients with peripheral arterial disease compared with healthy control subjects.

Methods. This prospective comparative study included 100 subjects: 40 consecutive patients with intermittent claudication, 20 consecutive patients with critical ischemia and tissue loss, and 40 healthy control subjects. Whole blood flow cytometric analysis was performed to determine resting and stimulated platelet P-selectin expression and resting and stimulated platelet fibrinogen binding.

Results are presented as platelet percentage and also as mean fluorescence intensity. Results. P-selectin expression was significantly increased in patients with intermittent claudication (median, 0.85%; range, 0.31%-4.77%; P = .023) and critical ischemia (median, 1.11%; range, 0.2%-3.26%; P = .028) compared with control subjects (median, 0.59%; range, 0.16%-4.58%). The percentage of platelets binding fibrinogen was also significantly higher in patients with intermittent claudication (median, 2.89%; range, 1.08%-9.59%; P < .001) compared with control subjects. (median, 1.57%; range, 0.17%-10.7%). There was no significant difference in percentage of platelet fibrinogen binding between control subjects and patients with critical ischemia. Fibrinogen binding by stimulated platelets was significantly diminished in patients with critical limb ischemia compared with control subjects (67.2% vs 77.9%; P = .006).

Conclusions. Platelet activation is increased in patients with peripheral arterial disease, suggesting an underlying prothrombotic state. Platelets from patients with critical limb ischemia are less responsive to in vitro stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jun 2003
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • granule membrane-protein
  • flow-cytometry
  • occlusive disease
  • coagulatory activity
  • hemostatic factors
  • IIIA
  • fibrinogen
  • GMP-140
  • events
  • risk

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