We characterized the biologic background of prothrombotic platelet function in the setting of durable left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) evaluating the role of different antithrombotic regimens. Platelet-mediated thrombin generation was quantified using the Platelet Activity State (PAS) Assay and the Thrombin Generation Test (TGT) in 78 patients implanted with the HeartMate II (n = 10, 13%), the HeartMate 3 (HM3) (n = 30, 38%), or the HVAD (n = 38, 49%) and managed with oral anticoagulation plus aspirin (n = 46, 59%) or anticoagulation alone (n = 32, 41%). Coagulation parameters (platelet count, International Normalized Ratio (INR), activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, Fibrinogen and D-Dimer levels) and hemolysis (lactate dehydrogenase levels [LDH]) were also recorded to comprehensively characterize the hemostatic profile in the two groups. In patients without aspirin, the PAS assay revealed low-intensity increase in platelet prothrombinase activity (1.11-fold, p = 0.03). Similarly the TGT revealed moderate higher platelet reactivity when compared with patients receiving aspirin, consistent with reduction in lag time (0.87-fold, p < 0.001), increase in peak of thrombin generation (1.5-fold, p = 0.002) and thrombin generation rate (2-fold, p = 0.02), but comparable endogenous thrombin potential (p = 0.50). Coagulation parameters and LDH were comparable in the two groups (p > 0.05). Moreover, no differences were noted in platelet prothrombinase activity of patients implanted with the HM3 or HVAD. Our results suggest that, in the setting of durable LVADs, aspirin minimally modulates the biochemical pathway of platelet-mediated thrombin generation. Accordingly, re-evaluation of current antithrombotic management criteria in patients stratified according to bleeding/thromboembolic risk might be safe and beneficial to prevent adverse events.
- Antiplatelet therapy
- Left ventricular assist device
- Mechanical circulatory support
- Thrombin generation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering