Partial inhibition of platelet aggregation by nebulized pentamidine in severe haemophiliacs

M. Cattaneo, A. Lecchi, F. Tradati, R. Lombardi, M. L. Zighetti, D. Guarneri, P. M. Mannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The antiparasite agent pentamidine has been shown to inhibit human platelet aggregation in vitro at concentrations that (potentially) may be attained in patient plasma after the administration of the drug by nebulizer. We measured platelet aggregation in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) before and after the administration of 300 mg nebulized pentamidine to 10 HIV-positive patients with severe haemophilia on prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. All patients had normal platelet counts. PAF-acether, U46619, collagen and ADP at different concentrations were used as agonists. Platelet aggregation was lower in PRP samples taken at the end of pentamidine administration and 1 h thereafter than in samples taken at the same time points in control experiments (without the administration of pentamidine). The inhibition of platelet aggregation was mild and tended to be overcome by higher concentrations of platelet agonists. The bleeding time was prolonged from 5 to 15 min in one patient but did not change in the remaining nine patients. In conclusion, this controlled study shows that nebulized pentamidine inhibits platelet aggregation in HIV-positive haemophiliacs without significantly affecting their bleeding times. Although this mild inhibitory effect may not be clinically relevant in haemophiliacs with normal platelet counts despite their defect in intrinsic coagulation, patients with HIV-related thrombocytopenia should be monitored to detect any excessive prolongation of their bleeding times after nebulized pentamidine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • AIDS
  • Bleeding time
  • Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa
  • Pentamidine
  • Platelet aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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