Incidence and characteristics of spontaneous platelet macro-aggregation in acute ischemic stroke

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2021 Jan;51(1):96-101. doi: 10.1007/s11239-020-02185-6.


Spontaneous platelet aggregation is a trigger for additional development of larger thrombi. Micro-aggregation is observed in 10% of diabetes approximately and blocked by P2Y12 inhibitors, whereas macro-aggregation is associated with overexpression of platelet α2-adrenoreceptors and is not blocked by conventional anti-platelet medicines. We examined the incidence of spontaneous platelet macro-aggregation (SPMA) in acute ischemic stroke and analyzed its clinical characteristics. Out of 665 consecutive acute ischemic strokes, SPMA was found in 10 patients (1.5%, one tenth of micro-aggregation) despite no detection in 588 control subjects. Types of ischemic stroke were 4 atherothrombotic, 4 cardioembolic, and 2 lacunar strokes. Stroke with SPMA exhibited higher (worse) values of modified Rankin Scales (mRS) at discharge (3.00 ± 0.53 vs 1.93 ± 0.07, p = 0.042 by Wilcoxon) compared with stroke without SPMA despite no difference at admission. The proportion of patients who were functionally independent (score 0-2 on the mRS) at discharge was lower in stroke with SPMA compared with stroke without SPMA (p < 0.05 by chi-square test; OR 3.60, 95% CI 1.08-12.03; RR 2.04, 95% CI 1.05-2.86). It was intriguing that severe (high magnitude) SPMA was observed in 4 atherothrombotic stroke. Although anti-platelet therapy underwent, the proportion of atherothrombotic patients who were functionally improved and independent at discharge was lower in the presence of SPMA compared with the absence of SPMA (p < 0.05 by chi-square test). The patients with SPMA were more likely to be older, having major disabilities, being less functionally improved during hospitalization, and being less functionally independent at discharge.

Keywords: Albumin; Ischemic stroke; Modified Ranking Scale; Prognosis; Spontaneous platelet macro-aggregation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Platelets / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ischemic Stroke / blood
  • Ischemic Stroke / diagnosis
  • Ischemic Stroke / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation*
  • Prognosis
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Thrombosis / pathology