Platelet function in pre-eclampsia

Semin Thromb Hemost. 2011 Mar;37(2):131-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1270339. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


Pronounced hemostatic changes occur during pregnancy, and the balance shifts markedly in favor of hypercoagulability. Although primarily a result of a marked rise in the levels of several procoagulants and a fall in some natural anticoagulants, platelet activation also contributes to this prothrombotic tendency. Several studies have confirmed the accentuation of platelet activation in pre-eclampsia (P-EC), which remains an important obstetric complication affecting ~2 to 4% of pregnancies. Although there is still a long way to go, significant inroads have been made in the understanding of this enigmatic condition. Whereas the pathogenesis of P-EC is protean and involves a complex interplay of placental and maternal tissues, platelet activation is likely to contribute to several clinical features. Several techniques have been used to assess platelet activation in P-EC. Detection of aberrations of platelet function and activation appear to have predictive value for its diagnosis. The findings also lend support to the use of antiplatelet agents as prophylaxis in those women with a high risk of developing the condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • P-Selectin / biosynthesis
  • Platelet Activation
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Tetraspanin 30


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers
  • CD63 protein, human
  • P-Selectin
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Tetraspanin 30