Clinical laboratory assessment of congenital and acquired disorders of platelet function

  • MA Okungbowa
  • AJP Kamdem


Platelet function disorders are known to cause abnormality in primary haemostasis and produce signs and  symptoms different from coagulation factor deficiencies which on the other hand cause disorders of secondary haemostasis. Under normal circumstances, the resistance of the endothelial cell lining to interactions with platelets and coagulation factors prevents thrombosis. When there is vascular damage and the underlying matrix of the  blood vessels are exposed, a coordinated series of events are set in motion to seal the defect. The disorders of platelet function can be classified into two (2) types: congenital (inherited) which occurs relatively rare or acquired which on the other hand is common. Over the years, various methods of assessing platelet function in the clinical laboratory have been derived; however with the advent of automation, more research is still on to further unveil specific defects in the structure and functions of platelets. Methods are however being specific for investigating certain stages of haemostasis process. Certain substances are however known to affect platelet function causing various clinical conditions, e.g. therapeutic antiplatelet agents (e.g. prostanoids synthesis antagonists), agents that bind to platelet receptors and membranes,  antibiotics, agents that increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate  (C-AMP) as well as some other chemical substances. Research however, has helped medical personnel to design different therapeutic options for platelet disorders and more research is still on to further improve on medical
laboratory investigations and the management of these physiological disorders.

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eISSN: 1596-6941