The Role of Platelets in Arterial and Venous Thrombosis

  • Duncan P. Thomas
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 28)


Blood platelets play a crucial role in haemostasis and thrombosis, a fact which has been recognized ever since Bizzozero (5) in Italy demonstrated that platelets were the first formed elements of the blood to accumulate at a site of injury. Eberth and Shimmelbusch (15) in Germany published drawings showing that they had a clear idea of the primary importance of platelets in plugging a hole in a vessel wall. Indeed, it is only within recent years that the electron microscope has significantly extended our knowledge of the structural processes involved. However, advances in knowledge of the biochemical processes leading to platelet aggregation, and the subsequent deposition of fibrin, have greatly clarified the sequence of events in haemostasis. A platelet aggregate developing on a damaged vessel wall may be considered a haemostatic plus at the outset, but it becomes a thrombus if normal blood flow is prevented. Recent interest in the role of platelets in haemostasis, and particularly the experimental study of haemostatic plugs, has considerably increased our understanding of the processes leading to arterial thrombosis (44).


Platelet Aggregation Venous Thrombosis Arterial Thrombosis Venous Stasis Platelet Content 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1972

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  • Duncan P. Thomas

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