Inability to Reverse Aspirin and Clopidogrel-induced Platelet Dysfunction with Platelet Infusion

Cureus. 2019 Jan 15;11(1):e3889. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3889.


Background Platelets are commonly administered to trauma patients to reverse the effects of pre-injury anti-platelet drugs if these individuals are judged to be at risk for ongoing bleeding (i.e., traumatic brain injury). In the U.S. blood banks, platelets are maintained at room temperature and are not infused prior to 72 hours storage due to rigorous screening methods. Recent work suggested that cold refrigerated platelets may be effective at restoring platelet function. We hypothesized that refrigerated platelets might be superior to room temperature platelets in reversing aspirin and clopidogrel-induced platelet dysfunction. Methods Using a cross-over design, 10 healthy, adult subjects underwent platelet removal by apheresis, received anti-platelet drugs (aspirin 325 mg and clopidogrel 75 mg) daily for three days, and then had return of their own platelets (about 3 x 1011 platelets). Five subjects were randomly assigned to receive platelets stored at 4°C, and five received platelets stored at room temperature. One month later, this entire process was repeated with each subject receiving platelets stored by the alternative method. Thus, subjects served as their own controls. At multiple time points during the study in vivo platelet function was assessed by bleeding times, which were measured by a single observer blinded to patient group. Results Bleeding times rose dramatically after anti-platelet drugs were given, but remained well above the normal range (seven minutes) despite reinfusion of platelets. There were no differences in platelet function according to the method of storage. Conclusions Transfusion with autologous platelets appears to be ineffective in reversing the anti-platelet effects of aspirin and clopidogrel. Cold refrigerated platelets were no more effective than room temperature stored platelets in restoring platelet function. This abstract was presented at American College of Surgeons-clinical congress, Boston 10-22-2018. (Khoury L, Cohn S, Panzo M. Inability to Reverse Aspirin and Clopidogrel-Induced Platelet Dysfunction with Platelet Infusion. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2018. 227. S265. DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2018.07.546).

Keywords: aspirin and clopidogrel effects; bleeding time; platelet dysfunction; platelet transfusion; storage defect.