Platelets play a fundamental role in normal hemostasis, while their inherited or acquired dysfunctions are involved in a variety of bleeding disorders or thrombotic events. Several laboratory methodologies or point-of-care testing methods are currently available for clinical and experimental settings. These methods describe different aspects of platelet function based on platelet aggregation, platelet adhesion, the viscoelastic properties during clot formation, the evaluation of thromboxane metabolism or certain flow cytometry techniques. Platelet aggregometry is applied in different clinical settings as monitoring response to antiplatelet therapies, the assessment of perioperative bleeding risk, the diagnosis of inherited bleeding disorders or in transfusion medicine. The rationale for platelet function-driven antiplatelet therapy was based on the result of several studies on patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), where an association between high platelet reactivity despite P2Y12 inhibition and ischemic events as stent thrombosis or cardiovascular death was found. However, recent large scale randomized, controlled trials have consistently failed to demonstrate a benefit of personalised antiplatelet therapy based on platelet function testing.
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