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Blood Rev. 2005 Mar;19(2):111-23.

Platelet function analysis.

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Oxford Haemophilia Centre & Thrombosis Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford OX3 7LJ, UK.


Since the last guidelines for BCSH platelet function testing were written in the late 1980s, many new tests have become available. Previously most platelet function tests were traditionally utilized to aid in the diagnosis and management of patients with platelet and haemostatic disorders. Most traditional tests were also largely restricted to the specialized laboratory or centre. However, nowadays there is also much renewed interest in monitoring the efficacy of anti-platelet therapy and measuring platelet hyper-function. A number of dedicated platelet function instruments have now become available that are much simpler to use and are beginning to be utilized as point of care instruments. These can now provide measurement of platelet function within whole blood without the requirement of sample processing. Some are also beginning to be incorporated into routine clinical use and can be utilized as not only as general screening tests of platelet function but to monitor anti-platelet therapy and to potentially assess both risk of bleeding and/or thrombosis. Modern flow cytometric-based platelet function analysis now also provides a wide variety of specific tests that can assess different aspects of platelet biology that are useful for diagnostic purposes. This review will highlight some of these of new tests/instruments and discuss their potential utility both within the haemostasis laboratory but also as potential point of care instruments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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