Background: Although "aspirin resistance" (AR-inadequate platelet inhibition as suggested by in vitro testing of aspirin-treated patients) has been widely studied in adults and linked to increased risk of adverse outcomes, its prevalence and clinical significance are largely unknown in children.
Procedure: To determine AR prevalence in children and its relationship to assay methodology, we undertook a cross-sectional study of 44 children (1-17 years, 24 male) on aspirin for various indications and considered three published definitions of AR in adults: platelet aggregation >/=70% to 10 microM adenosine diphosphate and >/=20% to 0.5 mg/ml arachidonic acid (AA), normal PFA-100(R) closure time and elevated urinary 11-dehydro thromboxane B(2) (11dhTxB(2)) concentration.
Results: Six subjects exhibited AR according to at least one of the criteria (5 by PFA-100(R), 1 by aggregometry and 11dhTxB(2) criteria); nearly all subjects had low levels of 11dhTxB(2) compared with controls. Subjects studied prior to therapy showed pronounced changes in AR parameters after aspirin dosing (e.g., mean aggregation to AA decreased from 82% to 6%, P < 0.001), confirming an aspirin effect. Subjects with AR did not differ from aspirin responsive subjects in terms of age, race, platelet count, or aspirin dose, indication or therapy duration. There was minimal correlation between assays.
Conclusions: In this initial prevalence study of a clinically diverse group of pediatric patients, frequencies of AR were assay-dependent; however, the prevalence of true AR is likely low in children (2.3%; 95% CI 0.1-10.7%), in agreement with adult studies. To better define the clinical relevance of AR in children, multicenter, prospective cohort studies are imperative.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.