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Alterations in platelet concentration and aggregation in normal pregnancy and preeclampsia

  • William F. O'Brien
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: William F. O'Brien, M.D., Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 12901 North 30th St., Tampa, FL 33612.
    Affiliations
    Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Tampa, Florida USA
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  • Hussain I. Saba
    Affiliations
    Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Tampa, Florida USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Robert A. Knuppel
    Affiliations
    Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Tampa, Florida USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jose C. Scerbo
    Affiliations
    Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Tampa, Florida USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Gary R. Cohen
    Affiliations
    Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida USA

    James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Tampa, Florida USA
    Search for articles by this author
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      Abstract

      Platelets were evaluated in normal pregnant women and in pregnant subjects with mild and severe preeclampsia, nonpregnant control subjects, and pregnant subjects with chronic hypertension. The parameters studied included platelet count, presence of circulating platelet aggregates, and in vitro platelet aggregability by means of a variety of agonists of platelet aggregation. When subjects with a normal pregnancy were compared to nonpregnant controls, they demonstrated a significantly lower platelet count and an increase in circulating platelet aggregates and in vitro hypoaggregability. Significant differences among the groups of pregnant subjects could not be found. These studies suggest the occurrence of platelet activation in pregnancy. This activation causes in vivo platelet aggregation followed by exhaustion of platelets.

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