Chronic platelet activation and acute coronary syndromes in 13 middle- aged patients

Michael D. Ozner, Yeon S. Ahn, Lawrence L. Horstman, Wenche Jy, Luciano Kolodny, Robert J. Myerberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We report on clinical, laboratory, and angiographic findings that appear to characterize a group of 13 middle-aged patients who suffered acute coronary syndromes (ACS) despite little angiographic evidence of atherosclerotic heart disease (ASHD) or other risk factors. Nine of the 13 were ≤46 years of age and the rest ranged to 59 years . All had evidence of platelet disorders (PD): seven had chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), one had familial thrombocytopenia, and five had other disorders affecting platelets. Evidence of long-standing chronic platelet activation was the common feature of the group, as found by (i) elevated platelet microparticles (PMP), (ii) thrombocytopenia, and (iii) enhanced procoagulant activity of plasma. Data on the 7 with ITP were compared to 20 ITP without ACS: the former had higher PMP (p < 0.01) and platelet-associated IgM (p < 0.05) relative to the ITP patient controls. Another set of patient controls consisted of 20 ACS with documented ASHD: although activation indicators were abnormal also in this group relative to normal controls (p < 0.01), the PD group of 13 had more marked abnormalities in all tests (p < 0.03), particularly in PMP and thrombocytopenia (p < 0.01). The seven youngest in the PD group appeared to respond to antiplatelet therapy since no recurrence of coronary ischemia was seen in up to 3 years of observation. It is suggested that chronic platelet activation by antibodies or immune complex may predispose those in the PD group to ACS (e.g., when under stress) despite the absence of ASHD and few other known risk factors. The true incidence of this syndrome is unknown but may be substantial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • Acute coronary syndromes
  • Chronic platelet activation
  • Immune thrombocytopenia
  • Middle age
  • Platelet microparticles
  • Platelet-associated IgM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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