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Elevated Levels of Circulating Platelet Aggregates and Beta-Thromboglobulin in Scleroderma

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Grant support: by grants AM 20571, AM 21554, and RR 01070 from the National Institutes of Health, the South Carolina Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation; the RGK Foundation, the Charlotte and Sidney Lifschultz Foundation, and the South Carolina Biomedical Research Appropriation.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to M.B. Kahaleh, M.D.; Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue; Charleston, SC 29425.

Charleston, South Carolina

©1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(5):610-613. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-5-610
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Levels of circulating platelet aggregates and plasma β-thromboglobulin reflect the degree of platelet activation in vascular injury and repair. Both values were evaluated in 38 patients with scleroderma and 18 control subjects matched for age, sex, and race. Circulating platelet aggregates (expressed as percentage of total platelet count) were 7.2 ± 5.5% (mean ± SD) in the control group and 31.2 ± 13% in the scleroderma group (p < 0.0005). Beta-thromboglobulin levels in the control group were 20 ± 10 ng/mL and 72.7 ± 50 ng/mL in the group with scleroderma (p < 0.0005). A positive correlation was found between the two values (r = 0.6, p < 0.0005). Significant reductions in circulating platelet aggregates and β-thromboglobulin levels were achieved in 10 patients by dipyridamole and aspirin therapy. These results show in-vivo activation of platelets in scleroderma with release of platelet granule constituents. Antiplatelet therapy in adequate doses returned both values to normal; however, its long-term effect on scleroderma is not yet known.





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