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Thromb Res. 2012 Aug;130(2):216-20. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 May 9.

Aspirin response variability after major orthopedic surgery.

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Department of Cardiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.



Variability in platelet response to aspirin has been reported in patients undergoing cardiac surgery but has rarely been described in other operative settings and its mechanism remains uncertain. We performed a prospective cohort study to investigate the variability in platelet response to aspirin and to explore its mechanism in patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery.


Twelve aspirin-treated patients undergoing elective hip or knee replacement were recruited. Once-daily aspirin was continued throughout the perioperative period. We measured platelet function using light transmission aggregation (LTA) in response to arachidonic acid (PL(AA)) and serum thromboxane B(2) (TXB(2)) at baseline (before surgery) as well as on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 after surgery. We defined aspirin low response as a PL(AA)>20%.


Six patients exhibited aspirin low response, which typically started on post-operative days 3 or 4; the remaining 6 patients had normal response to aspirin. Compared to aspirin responders, patients with aspirin low response showed significantly higher serum TXB(2) levels, a more pronounced early decrease in platelet count, and a significantly more rapid recovery of the platelet count after surgery.


Aspirin response variability occurred in patients after major orthopedic surgery, with one-half of the patients in our study exhibiting post-operative aspirin low response. Increased platelet turnover might be a contributor to aspirin response variability after orthopedic surgery.

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