Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Anaesth. 2003 Dec;50(10):1004-8.

Rofecoxib does not compromise platelet aggregation during anesthesia and surgery.

Author information

Departments of Anesthesiology and Laboratory Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticutt 06520-8051, USA.



This study was undertaken because, although there is evidence that cyclooxygenase type 2 (COX)-2 inhibitors do not compromise platelets in healthy volunteers, many clinicians remain hesitant to administer them perioperatively without definitive evidence of intact platelet function during anesthesia and surgery.


In 20 patients scheduled for lower abdominal and pelvic surgery, 5 mL of blood were obtained for baseline platelet aggregometry. One hour prior to surgery, patients received an oral solution of either rofecoxib (ROF) 50 mg or placebo (PLAC) by randomized, double-blinded assignment. Approximately one hour after onset of anesthesia, an intraoperative blood sample was obtained. Baseline and postdrug samples were centrifuged to generate platelet-rich plasma, which was challenged with adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and arachidonic acid (AA). Aggregometry was performed with and without incubation with aspirin. The data in each subject were normalized to baseline aggregation in response to AA alone and ADP alone. Intergroup differences were assessed using paired t test; P < 0.05 was considered significant.


Consistent with known effects of anesthesia on platelet function, both groups had approximately 25% intraoperative declines in aggregation in response to ADP (P = NS for PLAC vs ROF) and even greater declines in response to AA (P = NS for PLAC vs ROF). Aspirin eliminated aggregation in response to AA in both groups (P = NS), and it caused similar declines in PLAC and ROF groups during exposure to ADP (P = NS).


This study provides strong evidence that ROF does not compromise platelet aggregation during anesthesia and surgery; nor does it interfere with the platelet inhibitory effect of aspirin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center