There is no information on long-term platelet reactivity and activation following elective stenting in patients treated with clopidogrel and aspirin. We measured platelet reactivity and activation at baseline and at 2 h, 24 h, 5 days and 30 days following coronary stenting (n = 94). Patients were treated with the standard aspirin (325 mg) and clopidogrel regimen (300 mg load/75 mg qd). Reactivity was measured by aggregation (5 and 20 μM ADP) and activation was determined by the expression of total and active GP IIb/IIIa. Reactivity and activation were defined as heightened when post-stent aggregation and receptor expression exceeded baseline levels, respectively. Prolonged heightened platelet reactivity was detected by both 5 and 20 μM ADP aggregation. Using 20 μM ADP aggregation, heightened reactivity occurred in 55% of patients at 2h, 26% at 24 h, 21% at 5 days, and 15% at 30 days post-stenting. A high frequency of heightened platelet activation was detected by both total and active GP IIb/ IIIa expression. Using expression of the active GP IIb/IIIa receptor as the marker, activation was greater than baseline in 27% of patients at 2 h, 20% at 24 h, 30% at 5 days, and 22% at 30 days post-stenting. This is the first report demonstrating that a significant percentage of patients receiving standard clopidogrel and aspirin therapy for coronary stenting will have post-drug platelet reactivity and activation above baseline that persists for 30 days after the procedure. These finding suggest insufficient platelet inhibition. The clinical importance of these findings should be further investigated to establish the potential link between insufficient platelet inhibition, stent thrombosis, and restenosis.
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