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Thromb Haemost. 2012 Nov;108(5):930-6. doi: 10.1160/TH12-06-0397. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Effects of pioglitazone on platelet P2Y12-mediated signalling in clopidogrel-treated patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida 32209, USA.


Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have impaired clopidogrel-induced antiplatelet effects, which may be in part attributed to their reduced sensitivity to insulin and consequently, results in upregulation of the P2Y12 signalling pathway. It has been hypothesised that insulin sensitising strategies may enhance clopidogrel-mediated P2Y12 inhibitory effects. The aim of this pilot pharmacodynamics (PD) study was to assess the impact of pioglitazone on clopidogrel-mediated P2Y12 inhibitory effects in patients with T2DM. This was a prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over PD study. Patients with T2DM and stable coronary artery disease on maintenance aspirin and clopidogrel were randomised to receive either pioglitazone 30 mg or matching placebo daily for 14 days. PD assessments were measured at baseline, 14 days after randomisation, at the end of the wash-out period, and 14 days after cross-over. The primary endpoint measure was maximal platelet aggregation (MPA) to 20 μM adenosine diphosphate (ADP) as assessed by light transmittance aggregometry (LTA). Flow cytometric analysis of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein phosphorylation (VASP-PRI), and VerifyNow P2Y12 testing were also performed. A total of 15 randomised patients completed the study. MPA to 20 μM ADP (primary endpoint) was not significantly different with pioglitazone compared with placebo (49.53 ± 4.76 vs. 52.52 ± 3.89%; p = 0.594). Similarly, other PD measures did not differ significantly between the groups. In conclusion, in patients with T2DM on maintenance aspirin and clopidogrel therapy, the adjunctive use of pioglitazone does not result in enhanced inhibition of platelet P2Y12 mediated signalling.

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