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Curr Opin Hematol. 2007 Sep;14(5):432-7.

Tests of platelet function.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.



Platelets play a vital role in the normal hemostasis, and derangements of their function can lead to hemorrhage or thrombosis. While we have made progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms leading to platelet adhesion, aggregation, shape change, and secretion, clinically useful tests of platelet function have lagged behind. The following is a review of some of the currently available tests of platelet function, their advantages and drawbacks, as well as the clinical scenarios in which they are likely to be useful.


Attention is now being paid to standardization and optimization of older tests such as platelet aggregometry, in addition to better defining the role of newer tests such as the platelet function analyzer and thromboelastography in diagnosing and managing disorders of primary hemostasis and platelet function.


Platelet function is complex and may be disrupted at any of a number of steps, including adhesion, aggregation, shape change and secretion. We are better defining the role of the currently available tests, while identifying gaps in our ability to diagnose disorders of platelet function.

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