State of the art in platelet function testing

Transfus Med Hemother. 2013 Apr;40(2):73-86. doi: 10.1159/000350469. Epub 2013 Mar 18.


Platelets perform many functions in hemostasis but also in other areas of physiology and pathology. Therefore, it is obvious that many different function tests have been developed, each one conceived and standardized for a special purpose. This review will summarize the different fields in which platelet function testing is currently in use; diagnostics of patients with bleeding disorders, monitoring patients' response to anti-platelet therapy, monitoring in transfusion medicine (blood donors, platelet concentrates, and after transfusion), and monitoring in perioperative medicine to predict bleeding tendency. The second part of the review outlines different methods for platelet function testing, spanning bleeding time, and platelet counting as well as determining platelet adhesion, platelet secretion, platelet aggregation, platelet morphology, platelet signal transduction, platelet procoagulant activity, platelet apoptosis, platelet proteomics, and molecular biology.

Keywords: Antiplatelet drugs; Platelet concentrates; Platelet disorders; Platelet function testing.