Platelet aggregation test

What is a Platelet Aggregation Test?

A Platelet Aggregation Test (or platelet function analysis) is a laboratory test used to measure the body’s ability to form a platelet plug, or clot, in response to a blood vessel injury. It assesses a person's platelet function and assesses their risk of excessive bleeding and/or clotting.

Preparation for Platelet Aggregation Test:

No special preparation is required for a platelet aggregation test. The person should avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, prior to the test, as these drugs can interfere with the accuracy of the results. Other medications that can affect platelet aggregation should also be avoided if possible.

Procedure for Platelet Aggregation Test

The procedure for platelet aggregation testing involves drawing a small amount of blood. The blood sample is then placed in a device that measures the amount of platelets present in the sample. The device then stimulates the platelets with various substances, such as collagen or adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and measures the platelet response. The test results are then compared to results from a healthy sample to determine if the platelets are functioning properly.

Types of Platelet Aggregation Tests

There are two types of platelet aggregation tests:

  • Flow cytometry-based platelet aggregation tests
  • Optical-based platelet aggregation tests

Risks of Platelet Aggregation Tests

The risks of platelet aggregation tests are minimal. The test only involves the drawing of a small amount of blood, and no other type of invasive procedure is typically required. There is a small risk of pain, bruising, infection, and/or bleeding at the site where the blood is drawn.

Why and When to Have a Platelet Aggregation Test?

A platelet aggregation test is typically ordered when a person is at risk for an abnormal clotting disorder or a bleeding disorder, such as Von Willebrand disease. It can also be used to monitor a person's platelet functioning when taking anticoagulants, such as aspirin. The results of the test can provide valuable information to a doctor regarding a patient's risk of excessive bleeding and/or clotting and help the doctor to determine the best course of treatment.