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Objective Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition where platelet hyperaggregability is commonly present. We examined potential physiological bases for platelet hyperaggregability in a cohort of patients with acute and chronic AF. In particular, we sought to identify the impact of inflammation [myeloperoxidase (MPO) and C-reactive protein (CRP)] and impaired nitric oxide (NO) signaling. Methods Clinical and biochemical determinants of adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-induced platelet aggregation were sought in patients (n = 106) hospitalized with AF via univariate and multivariate analysis. Results Hyper-responsiveness of platelets to ADP was directly (r = 0.254, p < 0.01) correlated with plasma concentrations of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a matricellular protein that impairs NO responses and contributes to development of oxidative stress. In turn, plasma TSP-1 concentrations were directly correlated with MPO concentrations (r = 0.221, p < 0.05), while MPO concentrations correlated with those of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA, r = 0.220, p < 0.05), and its structural isomer symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA, r = 0.192, p = 0.05). Multivariate analysis identified TSP-1 (β = 0.276, p < 0.05) concentrations, as well as female sex (β = 0.199, p < 0.05), as direct correlates of platelet aggregability, and SDMA concentrations (β = − 0.292, p < 0.05) as an inverse correlate. Conclusion We conclude that platelet hyperaggregability, where present in the context of AF, may be engendered by impaired availability of NO, as well as via MPO-related inflammatory activation.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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