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Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal

Abstract

Platelet function was assessed in 15 patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) and in 26 control subjects of similar ages. The platelet count (mm3), surface reactivity, aggregometry studies, release factors, and circulating aggregates were investigated. The mean number of circulating platelets was normal, but a hyperactive platelet response was found in 53% of the CHF patients. CHF patients had a 42% mean for the spread type platelet, and the average number of aggregates was 64: control subjects had a 12% mean for the spread type platelet, and the average number of aggregates was 40 (p < 0.05). Aggregation with all of the inducers was normal, although 27% of CHF patients showed spontaneous aggregation. The mean plasma levels of both platelet factor 4 and betathromboglobulin were abnormally elevated. No circulating platelet aggregates were detected. Our studies indicate that platelet function is abnormal in patients with CHF. The abnormal platelet reactivity found might contribute to the increased incidence of thromboembolic events observed in CHF patients.

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