Early impact of prescription omega-3 fatty acids on platelet biomarkers in patients with coronary artery disease and hypertriglyceridemia

Victor L. Serebruany, Michael Miller, Alex N. Pokov, Donald Lynch, Jesper K. Jensen, Jonas Hallén, Dan Atar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Prescription omega-3-acid ethyl esters (PO-3A) have been tested for outcome benefits in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmias and heart failure. Some evidence suggests that PO-3A may exert their benefit via inhibiting platelets. We tested the hypothesis that PO-3A may inhibit platelet activity in patients with documented stable CAD, beyond the antiplatelet properties of aspirin and statins. Methods: Thirty patients with documented CAD and triglycerides over 250 mg/dl treated with aspirin (70-160 mg/daily) and statins (simvastatin equivalence dose: 5-40 mg/daily) were randomized 1:1:1 to Omacor™ 1 g/day (DHA/EPA ratio 1.25:1.0), Omacor 2 g/day, or a placebo for 2 weeks. Platelet tests including aggregometry and flow cytometry and cartridge analyzer readings were performed at baseline and at 1 and 2 weeks following PO-3A therapy. Results: ADP-induced platelet aggregation (p = 0.037), GP IIb/IIIa antigen (p = 0.031) and activity (p = 0.024), and P-selectin (p = 0.041) were significantly reduced after PO-3A, while platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule (p = 0.09), vitronectin receptor (p = 0.16), formation of platelet-monocyte microparticles (p = 0.19) and the VerifyNow IIb/IIIa test (p = 0.27) only exhibited nonsignificant trends suggestive of reduced platelet activity. Finally, collagen- and arachidonic acid-induced aggregation, closure time with the PFA-100 device and expression of thrombospondin (CD36), GP Ib (CD42b), LAMP-3 (CD63), LAMP-1 (CD107a), CD40-ligand (CD154), GP37 (CD165), and PAR-1 receptor intact (SPAN 12) and cleaved (WEDE-15) epitopes were not affected by 2 weeks of PO-3A. Conclusion: Independently of the dose and already at 1 week, short-term therapy with PO-3A provided a modest reduction of platelet activity biomarkers, despite concomitant aspirin and statin therapy, when compared to a placebo. The effect of PO-3A is unique, differs from other known antiplatelet agents and suggests potential pleiotropism. These preliminary randomized data call for confirmation in prospective studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Platelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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