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Anesthesiology. 1998 Feb;88(2):362-70.

In vivo and in vitro studies of the inhibitory effect of propofol on human platelet aggregation.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.



The inhibitory effects of propofol on platelet aggregation are controversial because the fat emulsion used as the solvent for propofol may affect platelet function. The effects of propofol on platelet intracellular calcium ion concentration and on aggregation were investigated.


Platelet aggregation was measured in 10 patients who received an intravenous infusion of propofol. Intralipos, the propofol solvent, was infused in 10 healthy volunteers and platelet aggregation were measured. The in vitro effects of propofol and Intralipos on platelets were also investigated. The inhibitory effects of various concentrations of propofol were studied. The effects of propofol on the changes in intracellular calcium level using a fluorescent dye, fura-2, were also observed. Template bleeding time was measured to determine the effect of propofol in clinical use.


Platelet aggregation was significantly inhibited by infusion of propofol, although bleeding time was not prolonged. Intralipos did not inhibit platelets either in vivo or in vitro. Propofol significantly inhibited platelet aggregation in vitro and at 5.81 +/- 2.73 microg/ml but not at 2.08 +/- 1.14 microg/ml. The increase of intracellular calcium concentration was inhibited both in influx and discharge of calcium.


Propofol inhibited platelet aggregation both in vivo and in vitro. Inhibition of platelet aggregation appeared to be caused by propofol itself and not by the fat emulsion. This inhibitory effect was also supported by the suppressed influx and discharge of calcium. No change in the bleeding time suggests that this inhibitory effect does not impair hemostasis clinically.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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