Platelet release and thromboxane synthesis in symptomatic coronary artery disease.
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The incidence and significance of platelet activation in myocardial ischemia was evaluated by serial measurement of plasma thromboxane B2 (TXB2) and beta thromboglobulin (beta TG) in plasma and urine in 98 patients admitted to a coronary care unit with chest pain. All measurements were normal in the 26 patients with noncardiac chest pain. Mean plasma TXB2 and beta TG concentration, but not urine beta TG, were elevated in the 25 patients with myocardial infarction and the 47 patients with angina. The beta TG levels remained normal in 61% of the patients with angina or infarction. The TXB2 levels were significantly higher in patients with recurrent episodes of angina at rest than in those without ischemic episodes after admission. There was a weak correlation between plasma TXB2 and plasma beta TG (r = 0.20, p less than 0.01) and between plasma and urine beta TG (r = 0.31, p less than 0.01). Results indicate that platelets are frequently activated with myocardial ischemia or infarction. However, the measurement of beta TG and TXB2 is of limited value in detecting or differentiating myocardial ischemia from infarction and therefore lacks clinical value in the management of patients with ischemic heart disease.
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