A platelet function defect in preeclampsia.
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A prospective study was performed on 26 preeclamptic patients and 17 pregnant control subjects relating the platelet count to in vivo platelet function as assessed by the bleeding time and in vitro platelet function as assessed by collagen-stimulated thromboxane B2 biosynthesis. The results of these tests were normal in all control subjects. Nine of the 26 preeclamptic patients (34%) showed thrombocytopenia, and five of these patients had a prolonged bleeding time. Four of the 16 nonthrombocytopenic patients also had a prolonged bleeding time. Eleven patients had impaired thromboxane B2 biosynthesis, and seven of these had a prolonged bleeding time. In all patients, the bleeding time returned to normal, and in most the platelet count returned to normal within five days or after delivery. A significant proportion of patients with preeclampsia develop an acquired defect of platelet function that could contribute to bleeding.
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