Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Overestimation of platelet aspirin resistance detection by thrombelastograph platelet mapping and validation by conventional aggregometry using arachidonic acid stimulation.

PMID 16256872


This study sought to determine the prevalence of platelet aspirin resistance using methods that directly indicate the degree of platelet cyclooxygenase inhibition. Aspirin resistance in platelets may be overestimated by nonspecific laboratory measurements that do not isolate cyclooxygenase activity. Arachidonic acid (AA)-induced light-transmittance platelet aggregation (LTA) and thrombelastography (TEG) platelet mapping were performed on the blood of healthy subjects (n = 6) before and 24 h after receiving 325 mg aspirin, and on 223 patients reporting compliance with long-term daily aspirin treatment (n = 203 undergoing percutaneous intervention [PCI] and n = 20 with a history of stent thrombosis). Aspirin resistance was defined as >20% aggregation by LTA or >50% aggregation by TEG. In healthy subjects, AA-induced aggregation by LTA was 82 +/- 10% before and 2 +/- 1% at 24 h after aspirin (p < 0.001), and aggregation by TEG was 86 +/- 14% before and 5 +/- 7% at 24 h after aspirin (p < 0.001). In compliant patients, AA-induced aggregation by LTA was 3 +/- 2% before PCI and 3 +/- 2% after PCI (p = NS), and aggregation by TEG was 5 +/- 9% before PCI and 6 +/- 14% after PCI (p = NS). Seven PCI patients were noncompliant, and all were aspirin sensitive after in-hospital aspirin treatment. Among 223 patients, only one patient ( approximately 0.4%) was resistant to aspirin treatment. Platelet aspirin resistance assessed by methods that directly indicate inhibition of cyclooxygenase is rare in compliant patients with coronary artery disease.