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Variability of residual platelet function despite clopidogrel treatment in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease

      Abstract

      Residual platelet function despite treatment with clopidogrel may predict an unfavourable cardiovascular outcome. The majority of studies have investigated the effects of clopidogrel administration in conjunction with aspirin in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. The primary objective of the present study was to assess the platelet response to clopidogrel in the absence of aspirin in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) and to investigate whether non-responsiveness to clopidogrel is reproducible during long-term follow-up. Fifty-four clinically stable PAOD patients on a maintenance dose of 75 mg/d clopidogrel were enrolled in this study. Platelet function was assessed at baseline and after a median follow-up of 18 months using light transmittance aggregometry (LTA) with 2 μM ADP as an agonist. HPLC-coupled mass spectrometry was used to detect clopidogrel and clopidogrel carboxylic acid, the main metabolite of clopidogrel. Residual platelet function, as defined by late aggregation values within the reference range (i.e., >43%), was observed in 35.2% of patients at baseline and 17.6% during follow-up. During the observation period, 26.5% had switched from responder to non-responder status or vice versa. Among non-responders, either clopidogrel or its metabolite was detected in 89.5% and 83.3% of patients at baseline and at follow-up, respectively. We conclude that non-responsiveness to clopidogrel as determined by ADP-induced LTA is not stable over time. This phenomenon cannot be attributed to non-compliance alone.

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