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Stroke. 2004 Jan;35(1):175-8. Epub 2003 Dec 11.

Antiplatelet effect of aspirin in patients with cerebrovascular disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill 60611, USA. m-alberts@northwestern.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Aspirin is used commonly to prevent ischemic strokes and other vascular events. Although aspirin is considered safe and effective, it has limited efficacy with a relative risk reduction of 20% to 25% for ischemic stroke. We sought to determine if aspirin as currently used is having its desired antiplatelet effects.

METHODS:

We ascertained patients with cerebrovascular disease who were taking only aspirin as an antiplatelet agent. Platelet function was evaluated using a platelet function analyzer (PFA-100). PFA test results were correlated with aspirin dose, formulation, and basic demographic factors.

RESULTS:

We ascertained 129 patients, of whom 32% were taking an enteric-coated aspirin preparation and 32% were taking low-dose (< or =162 mg/d) aspirin. For the entire cohort, 37% of patients had normal PFA-100 results, indicating normal platelet function. For the patients taking low-dose aspirin, 56% had normal PFAs compared with 28% of those taking > or =325 mg/d of aspirin, while 65% of patients taking enteric-coated aspirin had normal PFAs compared with 25% taking an uncoated preparation (P<0.01 for both comparisons). Similar results were obtained if PFA results were analyzed using mean closure times (low-dose aspirin, 183 sec; high-dose aspirin, 233 sec; enteric-coated, 173 sec; uncoated, 235 sec; P<0.01 for comparisons). Older patients and women were less likely to have a therapeutic response to aspirin, independent of aspirin dose or formulation.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant proportion of patients taking low-dose aspirin or enteric-coated aspirin have normal platelet function as measured by the PFA-100 test. If these results correlate with clinical events, they have broad implications in determining how aspirin is used and monitored.

Comment in

PMID:
14671242
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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