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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1996 Aug;16(8):948-54.

Inhibition of thrombin generation by aspirin is blunted in hypercholesterolemia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Jagellonian University, Cracow, Poland.


Recent evidence indicates that aspirin inhibits thrombin generation in clotting blood. We noticed that this effect was less pronounced in patients with hypercholesterolemia. The aim of the study was to prove this observation. The effects of aspirin on thrombin generation were evaluated in (1) 46 healthy volunteers, 2 hours after ingestion of a single, 500-mg dose and (2) 28 survivors of myocardial infarction who took 300 mg aspirin/d for 2 weeks. In both populations, two well-matched subgroups were distinguished, using a serum cholesterol level of 6.2 mmol/L (240 mg/dL) and an LDL cholesterol level of 4.0 mmol/L (155 mg/dL) as borderline. Thrombin generation was monitored ex vivo in blood emerging from a skin microvasculature injury and additionally, in a single-dose study in vitro in recalcified plasma. Aspirin depressed thrombin generation in the group of subjects with serum cholesterol < 6.2 mmol/L and LDL cholesterol < 4.0 mmol/L but not in the group with high blood cholesterol levels. Inhibitory effects of aspirin were more pronounced after the 2-week treatment than after a single dose. There was a significant correlation between total serum cholesterol or LDL cholesterol and total amount of thrombin generated after aspirin treatment. In subjects with high blood cholesterol levels, thrombin generation was not affected by aspirin. Blunting of aspirin action in hypercholesterolemia might be explained by (1) alterations in platelet lipid-protein matrix that render their membrane proteins less accessible for acetylation by aspirin and (2) changes in composition and structure of plasma lipoproteins that diminish the chance of aspirin to interact with prothrombin.

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