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Coron Artery Dis. 2000 Jul;11(5):391-8.

Release of platelet activation markers during coronary angioplasty.

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Department of Cardiology, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece.



Authors of several studies have reported that activation of platelets occurs during coronary angioplasty, but consistent results have not been obtained. Levels of serotonin in coronary circulation have been found to be elevated during percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty but greater than normal concentrations of beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4 have not been detected.


To perform a serial analysis of platelet-activation markers with simultaneous measurements of levels of serotonin, beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4 in blood samples from the coronary artery and coronary sinus of patients undergoing coronary angioplasty.


Twenty patients undergoing elective coronary angioplasty were studied. Measurements of levels of beta-thromboglobulin, platelet factor 4, and serotonin in samples from the ostium of the coronary artery and the coronary sinus were performed immediately before angioplasty and after the first balloon deflation.


Concentrations of beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4 in coronary artery and coronary sinus were elevated in all patients before dilatation, whereas concentrations of serotonin were elevated in 85% of the patients. Concentrations of all markers in coronary sinus decreased after the first inflation. The coronary-sinus: coronary-artery concentration ratios before dilatation for beta-thromboglobulin, platelet factor 4, and serotonin were > 1 for the majority of patients, particularly for those with complex culprit lesions, indicating that coronary activation of platelets was occurring. Ratios remained unchanged or decreased after the first inflation, depending on initial values.


Both systemic and coronary activation occur in patients subjected to percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty before the onset of intervention. After balloon deflation the greater than normal baseline coronary-sinus:coronary-artery concentration ratios of all markers (beta-thromboglobulin, platelet factor 4 and serotonin) tend to decline or remain unchanged, depending on the level of activation.

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