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Am J Cardiol. 1999 Jan 15;83(2):194-8.

Plasma adenosine levels and platelet activation in patients with atrial fibrillation.

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First Department of Medicine, Osaka University School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.


Platelet activation is observed in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). P-selectin, which is expressed on platelet activation, plays an important role in the formation of thromboemobli. Because adenosine is known to attenuate platelet activation, we evaluated adenosine levels and 2 indicators of platelet activation, i.e., expression of P-selectin on platelets and plasma levels of beta-thromboglobulin, in 28 patients with AF (20 men and 8 women, age range 64+/-2 years) with sex- and age-matched (+/-2 years) subjects with sinus rhythm. The incidence of risk factors for stroke except for coronary heart disease and in echocardiographic parameters did not differ between the 2 groups. Plasma adenosine levels were lower (p <0.05) in patients with AF than in controls (mean [interquartile range] 13.4 [19.3-9.3] vs 19.1 [30.8-11.9] nmol/L). The expression of P-selectin on platelets (6.8% [13.6-3.4] vs 4.0% [8.8-1.8]) and plasma levels of beta-thromboglobulin were higher (p <0.05) in patients with AF. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that an antagonist of adenosine receptors, 8-sulfophenyltheophylline, increased the expression of P-selectin on platelets in a dose-dependent manner in the in vitro study. These results suggest that decreased plasma levels of adenosine were associated with platelet activation in patients with AF. Substitution of adenosine may provide a strategy for preventing platelet activation in these patients.

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