Aberrant Platelet Aggregation as Initial Presentation of Essential Thrombocythemia: Failure of Entero-Coated Aspirin to Reduce Platelet Hyperactivation

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Dec 22;25(1):176. doi: 10.3390/ijms25010176.


Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm variant characterized by excessive production of platelets. Since the most common cause of mortality and morbidity in ET patients is thrombosis, the excessive production of platelets may cause thrombotic events. However, little is known about the function of platelets in ET. We report a female patient who presented as asymptomatic, without a remarkable medical history, and ET was diagnosed after an incidental finding of moderate thrombocytosis. Notably, together with thrombocytosis, an abnormal platelet phenotype was found for the presence of a massive, rapid and spontaneous formation of aggregates and platelet hypersensitivity to subthreshold concentrations of aggregating agonists. Bone marrow histopathological examination and genetic analysis with the JAK2 (V617F) gene mutation findings confirmed the initial suspicion of ET. Although the ET patient was placed on aspirin, the persistence of the platelet hyperactivation and hyperaggregability prompted a switch in antiplatelet medication from entero-coated (EC) to plain aspirin. As result, platelet hypersensitivity to agonists and spontaneous aggregation were no longer found. Collectively, our study demonstrates that platelet function analysis could be a reliable predictor of ET and that plain aspirin should be preferred over EC aspirin to attenuate platelet hyperreactivity.

Keywords: aspirin; essential thrombocythemia; platelet aggregation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / pharmacology
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Blood Platelets
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity*
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential* / diagnosis
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential* / drug therapy
  • Thrombocytosis* / drug therapy


  • Aspirin

Grants and funding

This study was supported by a grant from the Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences of Turin University (RUSI_RILO_22) to I.R.