Serum-induced platelet procoagulant activity: An assay for the characterization of prothrombotic disorders Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Platelets contribute to hemostasis by forming a platelet plug and by providing a procoagulant surface for the assembly and activation of the coagulation factors. The contribution of platelets to prothrombotic disorders has been difficult to analyze. Recently an assay was reported that measured the procoagulant activity of test platelets by making the platelet lipid surface the limiting factor in the production of thrombin. In this report we describe a novel technique, based on this assay, that we used to study patient serum factors that activate control platelets and in turn initiate measurable procoagulant activity. Using this assay we investigated a group of patients with prothrombotic disorders. The patient test serum was incubated with normal platelets in the presence of activated factor Xa. The resultant thrombin was measured in a chromogenic assay. The rate-limiting step was the presence of any potential platelet-activating factors, such as antibodies in the heat-treated test serum, that would allow the Xa to bind to the platelet phospholipid surface. Serum samples from patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and the anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome enhanced platelet procoagulant activity, while samples from patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) did not. HIT serum samples also induced platelet activation, as measured by platelet microparticle shedding, carbon 14-labeled serotonin release, and platelet aggregation. The measurement of serum-induced platelet procoagulant activity provides a method for the investigation of circulating platelet agonists in prothrombotic disorders.

publication date

  • February 1999