The Impact-R [Cone and plate(let) analyzer (CPA)] is useful to assess platelet adhesion in different diseases and to monitor antiplatelet therapy. The purpose of the present study was to adapt this system to test agonist-induced platelet aggregation. Blood samples were tested by light transmission platelet aggregometry (LTA), Impact-R regular test and Impact-R agonist-response test. In the latter, samples were pre-incubated for 1 min with an agonist leading to platelet activation, micro-aggregates formation and reduced adhesion. Impact-R regular test of ten healthy volunteers demonstrated platelet adhesion (surface coverage, SC) of 11.2 +/- 2.6% while LTA induced by ADP, ristocetin, epinephrine, collagen and arachidonic acid (AA) yielded maximal aggregation (81% to 93%). In the Impact-R agonist-response test, SC was reduced to 2.2 +/- 1.0%, 1.2 +/- 0.9%, 2.3 +/- 1.0%, 2.2 +/- 0.8% and 2.4 +/- 0.4%, respectively. Prostaglandin E(1) treatment weakened SC reduction in response to ADP and epinephrine (SC of 8.8 +/- 1.8% and 9.5 +/- 2.0%, respectively). Inhibition of P2Y(12) receptor with 2MeSAMP resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in maximal aggregation in the ADP-induced test, which inversely correlated to SC in the Impact-R ADP-response test. The Impact-R agonist-response tests detected aggregation defects in patients with storage pool disease, severe von Willebrand disease and epinephrine response deficiency, and may be useful to assess the effect of different agonists on platelet aggregation.