Haemostasis is a complex process affected by many factors including both cellular and plasma components. It is a multistep process starting with platelet adhesion to damaged endothelium and ending in clot fibrinolysis. There are several methods available to study different aspects of haemostasis including adhesion, aggregation, coagulation and fibrinolysis. This review describes the different methods, what aspects of haemostasis they measure and their limitations. Methods discussed include methods to study adhesion (e.g. PFA-100, cone and platelet(let) analyzer and perfusion chambers) and aggregation (e.g. Multiplate, VerifyNow and Plateletworks). Furthermore the principles behind viscoelastic haemostatic assays are presented as well as methods that can analyse aspects of haemostasis in plasma or platelet-rich-plasma samples (thrombin generation, overall haemostasis potential and Thrombodynamics Analyzer).
Keywords: Coagulation; Coagulation assays; Haemostasis; Platelet function testing; Platelets.