Low-density lipoprotein-lowering medication and platelet function

Patrizia Ferroni, Stefania Basili, Francesca Santilli, Giovanni Davì

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL-C) levels represent one of the most important risk factors for atherosclerosis and therefore cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. LDL-C operates at different levels and through various classic and non-classic mechanisms. In particular, increased or modified LDL enhances platelet function and increases sensitivity of platelets to several naturally occurring agonists. Agents that lower LDL-C in hypercholesterolemic patients have been shown to interfere with platelet function. Several studies, in fact, suggested that statins exert anti-thrombotic effects largely as a result of an anti-platelet activity. Among the other LDL-C-lowering agents those acting by interfering with cholesterol reabsorption from the gut (cholestyramine, colestipol) do not appear to interfere with platelet function, whereas peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists (such as fibrates) can inhibit platelet function. The full potential of these drugs in vascular protection is only just being realized. Further studies are still needed to elucidate the full therapeutic benefits of these agents in plaque stabilization and thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-354
Number of pages9
JournalPathophysiology of Haemostasis and Thrombosis
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Fibrates
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Platelet activation
  • Prothrombotic state
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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