Evaluation of platelet function by flow cytometry

Methods. 2000 Jul;21(3):259-70. doi: 10.1006/meth.2000.1006.


Platelet function in whole blood can be comprehensively evaluated by flow cytometry. Flow cytometry can be used to measure platelet reactivity, circulating activated platelets, platelet-platelet aggregates, leukocyte-platelet aggregates, procoagulant platelet-derived microparticles, and calcium flux. Clinical applications of whole blood flow cytometric assays of platelet function in disease states (e.g., acute coronary syndromes, angioplasty, and stroke) may include identification of patients who would benefit from additional antiplatelet therapy and prediction of ischemic events. Circulating monocyte-platelet aggregates appear to be a more sensitive marker of in vivo platelet activation than circulating P-selectin-positive platelets. Flow cytometry can also be used in the following clinical settings: monitoring of GPIIb-IIIa antagonist therapy, diagnosis of inherited deficiencies of platelet surface glycoproteins, diagnosis of storage pool disease, diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and measurement of the rate of thrombopoiesis.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Blood Banks
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • Brain Ischemia / blood
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Calibration
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Platelet Activation / immunology
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / genetics
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / immunology
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / metabolism
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex / genetics
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex / immunology
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex / metabolism
  • Platelet Storage Pool Deficiency / blood
  • Platelet Storage Pool Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Platelet Storage Pool Deficiency / pathology
  • Quality Control
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex