Longitudinal assessment of thrombin generation potential in response to alteration of antiplatelet therapy after TIA or ischaemic stroke
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- Tobin, W.O., Kinsella, J.A., Kavanagh, G.F. et al. J Neurol (2013) 260: 590. doi:10.1007/s00415-012-6684-2
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The impact of changing antiplatelet therapy on thrombin generation potential in patients with ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVD) is unclear. We assessed patients within 4 weeks of TIA or ischaemic stroke (baseline), and then 14 days (14d) and >90 days (90d) after altering antiplatelet therapy. Thrombin generation was assessed in platelet poor plasma. Ninety-one patients were recruited. Twenty-four were initially assessed on no antiplatelet therapy, and then after 14d (N = 23) and 90d (N = 8) on aspirin monotherapy; 52 were assessed on aspirin monotherapy, and after 14 and 90 days on aspirin and dipyridamole combination therapy; 21 patients were assessed on aspirin and after 14 days (N = 21) and 90 days (N = 19) on clopidogrel. Peak thrombin generation and endogenous thrombin potential were reduced at 14 and 90 days (p ≤ 0.04) in the overall cohort. We assessed the impact of individual antiplatelet regimens on thrombin generation parameters to investigate the cause of this effect. Lag time and time-to-peak thrombin generation were unchanged at 14 days, but reduced 90 days after commencing aspirin (p ≤ 0.009). Lag time, peak thrombin generation and endogenous thrombin potential were reduced at both 14 and 90 days after adding dipyridamole to aspirin (p ≤ 0.01). Lag time was reduced 14 days after changing from aspirin to clopidogrel (p = 0.045), but this effect was not maintained at 90 days (p = 0.2). This pilot study did not show any consistent effects of commencing aspirin, or of changing from aspirin to clopidogrel on thrombin generation potential during follow-up. The addition of dipyridamole to aspirin led to a persistent reduction in peak and total thrombin generation ex vivo, and illustrates the diverse, potentially beneficial, newly recognised ‘anti-coagulant’ effects of dipyridamole in ischaemic CVD.