[Platelet responsiveness to clopidogrel in patients with coronary syndrome. Comparison of platelet aggregation induced by ADP and flow cytometric analysis of intraplatelet VASP phosphorylation]

Ann Cardiol Angeiol (Paris). 2007 Jan;56(1):21-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ancard.2006.11.005.
[Article in French]


Although antiplatelet therapy with ASA-clopidogrel reduces the risk of cardiovascular episodes after PCI, a substantial number of events occur during follow-up. Sustained platelet reactivity under dual antiplatelet therapy was recently associated with increased risk of recurrent atherothrombotic events after PCI. Whereas it appears significant to determine clopidogrel responsiveness, the accurate platelet function assay is still under investigation.

Objectives: (i) to determine the proportion of "low-responders" or "resistants" patients during coronary syndrome (ii) to identify determinants of interindividual variability response to clopidogrel (iii) to compare aggregometry and VASP phosphorylation measured by flow cytometry. Patients were treated by clopidogrel (300 mg loading dose and 75 mg maintenance dose) and ASA (160 mg) (N=27). Additional treatment by GPIIbIIIa antagonists was given to high-risk patients (N=9). Platelet function was monitored by ADP aggregometry (5, 10, 20 microM) and VASP phosphorylation before any treatment by clopidogrel (d0) and at least five days after (d5). The platelet reactivity index (PRI), expressed as percentage, is the difference in VASP fluorescence intensity between resting (+ PGE1) and activated (ADP) platelets. At d5, low responsiveness to clopidogrel was defined by either (i) a PRI > 67.3% corresponding to the mean value -2SD measured in untreated patients (dO) (ii) or an absolute change (delta d0-d5) in aggregation (ADP 10 microM) < to 30%.

Results: PRI, platelet aggregometry to ADP was significantly reduced following clopidogrel treatment (P < 0.01). A wide inter-individual variability to clopidogrel was observed at d5 (PRI from 11 to 83%). Whatever the platelet function used, a large proportion of patients were detected as "low-responders" (37% by VASP, 44% by ADP aggregometry). Absolute change in ADP aggregation was correlated to the variation of PRI (R = 0.559; P = 0.02). Contrary to ADP aggregometry, PRI was not influenced by GPIIbIIIa antagonists or prior administration of ASA. However, the conformity of the two methods to evaluate clopidogrel responsiveness was only 66%. No differences in platelet aggregometry could be observed at d5 between "low" and "good-responders" defined by VASP analysis. At d5, a higher PRI value could be detected in male and patients with history of dyslipemia.

Conclusion: During coronary syndrome, impaired platelet responsiveness to clopidogrel was observed in a large proportion of patients whatever the platelet function assay used. VASP analysis was found insensitive to GPIIbIIIa or aspirin administration. Possible mechanisms linking clopidogrel "resistance" measured by VASP assay and enhanced thrombogenicity remain to be characterized. Indeed, clopidogrel "resistance" defined by VASP analysis was not associated with higher platelet aggregation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology*
  • Aged
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects*
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Clopidogrel
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Syndrome
  • Ticlopidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ticlopidine / therapeutic use


  • Blood Proteins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Clopidogrel
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • Ticlopidine
  • Aspirin