Aim: To determine whether indices of platelet activation are associated with the stability of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: Platelet function was examined in 677 consecutive aspirin-treated patients presenting for cardiac catheterization. Patients were grouped into recent myocardial infarction (MI), no MI but angiographically documented CAD (non-MI CAD) and no angiographically detectible CAD (no CAD), as well as additional subgroups.
Results: Compared with non-MI CAD or no CAD patients, more patients with recent MI had a shortened platelet function analyzer (PFA)-100 collagen-epinephrine closure time (CT) and increased circulating monocyte-platelet aggregates, neutrophil-platelet aggregates, activated platelet surface GPIIb-IIIa and plasma soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L). More patients with non-MI CAD had shortened PFA-100 CTs and increased monocyte-platelet aggregates compared with patients with no CAD. Platelet surface P-selectin did not differ among the groups. Subgroup analysis revealed that decreasing PFA-100 CT correlated with the stability of CAD.
Conclusions: Indices of platelet activation, especially the PFA-100 CT, are associated with the stability of CAD, and may reflect plaque instability, an ongoing thrombotic state and/or reduced responsiveness to aspirin.