Background: Large platelets are shown to be hemostatically more active. It has been suggested that mean platelet volume (MPV) is increased during acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and unstable angina pectoris (USAP). However, the underlying mechanism of the phenomenon remains unclear.
Hypothesis: In this study, platelets, MPV, and thrombopoietin (TP) levels were investigated in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and healthy controls.
Methods: Twenty patients with AMI and 20 patients with USAP were included in this study. Seventeen healthy adult subjects served as controls. Venous blood samples of the subjects were drawn within 12 h after admission. Thrombopoietin levels were measured by ELISA and platelet counts and MPV were assayed by autoanalyzer.
Results: Patients with AMI and USAP had higher platelet counts than those in the control group. Although the platelet counts were slightly higher in AMI than in USAP, this did not reach statistical significance. Mean platelet volume and levels of TP were found to be elevated in patients with AMI and USAP compared with control subjects (p < 0.001). Thrombopoietin levels were higher in AMI than USAP, but this was not statistically significant. There was a positive correlation between TP levels and MPV values (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Increased TP levels may increase both platelet counts and platelet size, resulting in hemostatically more active platelets, which may contribute to the development and progression of CAD.