Platelet Aggregation in Whole Blood

A platelet aggregation study may be performed on whole blood using an impedance aggregometer (Lumi aggregometer). This technique gives information on the kinetics of aggregate formation, and a simultaneous assessment of secretory exocy-tosis is possible by measuring the ATP released from dense bodies using the firefly luciferen-luciferase system. This method makes it possible to quickly detect patients who require further study for possible platelet function disorders such as cyclooxy-genase deficiency, storage pool defect, thrombasthenia, and von Willebrand disease. The results obtained with this electrical impedance instrument do not differ from those obtained with the conventional optical method. However, it is now possible to recognize a platelet function defect within 30 minutes of obtaining a 5-mL sample of citrated whole blood. Further, platelets of unusual size or density are not lost to testing through centrifugation.

A number of other tests have been utilized to investigate platelet function and may be required in an individual case:

• Platelet retention and adhesiveness

• Platelet factor 3

• Adenosine diphosphate release

• Capillary fragility

• Clot retraction

• Platelet electrophoresis

• Antiplatelet antibodies

• Platelet survival.

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