Horiba POC platelet function test success in antiplatelet therapy research

Plateletworks proves fast, simple and effective at The James Cook University Hospital

Horiba UK’s medical division has announced that doctors from the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough have successfully used its Plateletworks point-of-care (POC) platelet function test to rapidly characterise platelet function in a scientific study on antiplatelet therapy.

Results of the study were recently presented at the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS) Annual Meeting in a poster entitled Should post-operative antiplatelet therapy differ for on and off-pump surgery.

Antiplatelet therapy reduces early vein graft occlusion post coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and it is known that patients may vary in response to antiplatelet agents. The Middlesbrough researchers aimed to characterise platelet function post CABG with Aspirin therapy and determine whether a difference exists between on and off-pump surgery. To achieve this, a quick and simple measure of platelet function was required in order to undertake seven pre- and post-operative tests over five days on 30 patients - as a quantitative POC test Plateletworks provided an ideal method.

Enoch Akowuah, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Measuring platelet function is highly complex and lab-based aggregometry is expensive, time consuming and requires an experienced biomedical scientist, rendering it impracticable for our study. Plateletworks proved very cost effective and straightforward to use by members of my team near to the patient, furthermore the technical support that HORIBA provided was excellent.”

Measuring platelet function is highly complex and lab-based aggregometry is expensive, time consuming and requires an experienced biomedical scientist, rendering it impracticable for our study

Although it was not possible to directly compare aggregometry and Plateletworks data, Akowuah said: “We are happy that Plateletworks accurately reflected platelet function and was in broad agreement with aggregometry data. It provides a simple and elegant solution to the problem of obtaining quick and accurate quantitative platelet function results at the point-of-care, as well as an easier way of studying the data.”

From the pre- and post-operative data obtained, the researchers concluded that there is room to improve antiplatelet therapy after CABG using Aspirin or alternative agents for both on and off-pump patients. Standard therapy regimes used within the trust are based on current US and European guidelines.

“In a recent survey that we have undertaken of all 37 UK cardiac centres, we found a huge variation in anti-platelet regimes,” said Akowuah. “Having the ability, through Plateletworks, to rapidly and inexpensively gather evidence of the best regime for achieving a better platelet profile would be ideal to help inform guidelines and clinical practice not only within our trust, but potentially nationwide.”

Plateletworks kits enable users to obtain total count, percentage aggregation or inhibition and functional count on platelets at the point of care. The system ensures POC testing is kept as simple and quick as possible for the healthcare worker with whole blood samples used requiring no sample preparation. A number of Plateletworks kits are currently available to enable the measurement of platelet function in a variety of clinical settings. These are all processed on a HORIBA Medical haematology analyser for easen of use and delivery of results in under five minutes.

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