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Korean Circ J. 2017 May;47(3):366-376. doi: 10.4070/kcj.2016.0384. Epub 2017 May 25.

Antiplatelet Therapy Combinations and Thrombogenicity in Patients with Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Cardiovascular Center, Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.



Combination antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of ischemic stroke compared with aspirin monotherapy in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients. The underlying mechanism, however, remains unclear. In addition, the association between platelet inhibition and thrombogenicity in NVAF has not been evaluated.


We randomized 60 patients with NVAF that were taking 100 mg of aspirin daily (>1 month) to adding 75 mg of clopidogrel daily (CLPD group), 100 mg of cilostazol twice daily (CILO group), or 1000 mg of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid twice daily (PUFA group). Biomarkers (von Willebrand factor antigen [vWF:Ag], fibrinogen, D-dimer, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP]) and platelet reactivity (PR), which were the levels stimulated by adenosine diphosphate (ADP), thrombin-receptor agonist peptide, collagen, and arachidonic acid, were measured at baseline and 30-day follow-up.


Combination antiplatelet therapy significantly reduced vWF:Ag and fibrinogen levels (7.7 IU/dL, p=0.015 and 15.7 mg/dL, p=0.005, respectively), but no changes were found in D-dimer and hs-CRP levels. The CLPD and CILO groups showed fibrinogen and vWF:Ag level reductions (24.9 mg/dL, p=0.015 and 9.3 IU/dL, p=0.044, respectively), whereas the PUFA group did not show any differences in biomarkers. Irrespective of regimen, the changes in fibrinogen and vWF:Ag levels were mainly associated with the change in ADP-mediated PR (r=0.339, p=0.008 and r=0.322, p=0.012, respectively).


In patients with NVAF, combination antiplatelet therapy showed reductions for vWF:Ag and fibrinogen levels, which may be associated with the inhibitory levels of ADP-mediated PR. The clinical implications of these findings need to be evaluated in future trials.


Atrial fibrillation; Biomarker; Blood platelets; Platelet aggregation inhibitors

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