Abstract 19437: Elevated Platelet Turnover in Patients Receiving Dual Antiplatlet Therapy Could Permit the Formation of Uninhibited Platelet Clusters That Act as Seeds for Thrombus Formation
Introduction: ACS patients who also have conditions associated with increased platelet turnover, such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease, are at increased risk of atherothrombotic events despite receiving dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). It may well be that aspirin and thienopyridines, such as clopidogrel or prasugrel, prescribed once daily as pharmacologically short-lived but irreversibly acting agents, are less effective in these patients because of the daily emergence of a significant subpopulation of uninhibited platelets.
Hypothesis: Here we investigated the potentially crucial roles of subpopulations of uninhibited platelets in overcoming DAPT and driving aggregation.
Methods: Aliquots of platelet rich plasma were incubated with aspirin, prasugrel active metabolite (PAM) plus aspirin, or vehicle and platelets were differently labelled with membrane dyes. Aliquots were then combined in various proportions and platelet responses measured in standard light transmission aggregometry. Aggregates formed in response to platelet agonists were then fixed and detailed structural analyses made by advanced imaging techniques, including confocal microscopy and ImageStream flow cytometry, to determine the interactions of different platelet populations.
Results: Platelet aggregation responses and images of platelet aggregates demonstrated complex, dynamic relationships between platelet subpopulations. Summary analysis indicated that aggregates containing aspirin-treated (90-60%) and drug-free (10-40%) platelets had random distributions of drug-free platelets in response to ADP or AA. In contrast, aggregates containing DAPT-inhibited (90-60%) platelets and drug-free (10-40%) platelets showed marked clustering of drug-free platelets at aggregate cores surrounded by recruited DAPT-inhibited platelets.
Conclusions: We show that a subpopulation of drug-free platelets can provide seeds for the formation of aggregates that then recruit DAPT-inhibited platelets. Such interaction between platelet subpopulations are of direct relevance to ACS patients with underlying conditions associated with elevated platelet turnover and may well provide an explanation for the failure of DAPT with aspirin and thienopyridines.
Author Disclosures: T. Hoefer: None. T.D. Warner: Research Grant; Modest; Astra Zeneca. Consultant/Advisory Board; Modest; Astra Zeneca.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.