Platelet inhibitors are commonly used to reduce the risk of atherothrombotic events. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of platelet inhibitors, specifically clopidogrel and aspirin, on clot kinetics, strength, and/or structure during the use of thrombin based gelatin matrices and fibrin sealants.
Blood was collected and heparinized from donors on clopidogrel (and aspirin) and age matched control donors. Blood component analysis, whole blood platelet aggregometry, and activated clotting time (ACT) were used to monitor compliance to therapy and identify any differences between donor groups. Clot kinetics and strength were analyzed using thrombelastography (TEG). Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) was used to analyze clot structure.
Blood component profiles were similar for both donor groups. Aggregometry indicated that aggregation response to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) for clopidogrel donors was 12% of that for the controls (p = 0.0021), an expected result of clopidogrel induced platelet inhibition. However, blood from both donor groups had an elevated thrombin induced aggregation response. Heparinization of donor blood resulted in similarly elevated ACTs for both donor groups. TEG results indicated similar clot kinetics and strength between clopidogrel and control donor groups for blood alone and when clotting was induced using thrombin based gelatin matrices and fibrin sealants. FESEM images supported TEG findings in that similar morphologies were observed in ex vivo formed clots from both donor groups when thrombin based gelatin matrices and fibrin sealants were used.
These results suggest that platelet inhibitors do not negatively impact clot kinetics, strength, and structure when clotting is initiated with thrombin based gelatin matrices and fibrin sealants.