Background: Current evidence supports the central role of inflammation in all phases of the atherosclerotic process, including its thrombotic complications. Increased serum sCD40L may trigger platelet activation, so the aim of the present study was to determine the relation between sCD40L levels and aspirin-resistant platelet aggregation in patients with coronary atherosclerosis.
Methods and results: A total of 167 consecutive patients (39-85 years old, 35.9% women) with stable coronary artery disease was enrolled in the study. Platelet function was evaluated by a Platelet Function Analyzer 100 device (PFA-100) with collagen and epinephrine (Col/Epi) and collagen and adenosine diphosphate (ADP) (Col/ADP) cartridges. Aspirin resistance was defined as a closure time (CT) <186 s with Col/Epi cartridges, despite regular aspirin therapy. Serum sCD40L level was determined quantitatively with an ELISA method. Fifty-seven (34.1%) patients had aspirin resistance according to the PFA-100. Mean CT measured with the Col/ADP cartridges was 83+/-18 s (65-101 s). Mean serum sCD40L was 157 pg/ml (6-700 pg/ml) in the entire cohort. Patients with aspirin resistance had a mean serum sCD40L level of 166 pg/ml and patients with aspirin-sensitive platelet aggregation had an sCD40L level of 152 pg/ml (p=0.582).
Conclusion: The sCD40L level is similar in patients with aspirin-resistant and aspirin-sensitive platelet aggregation according to the PFA-100. There is still need for further studies to elucidate the relationship between aspirin-resistant platelet aggregation and sCD40L, which is now known to be prothrombotic, proinflammatory and to be a risk factor for cardiovascular events.