The issue of platelet function in infants and neonates is of interest, and current data are debatable. A new method for assessing platelet function involves using the cone and plate(let) analyzer (CPA), applicable for small (0.2 ml) whole blood volumes. We used polystyrene surface-coated plates to evaluate cord blood neonatal platelet function under flow. One hundred and sixty full-term and 29 preterm infants born at the Sheba Medical Center between March 2003 and January 2004 were evaluated for platelet adhesion measured as surface coverage (SC; the percentage of total area covered by platelets) and platelet aggregation, defined as the average size (AS) of the aggregates. Platelets from preterm infants displayed less platelet adhesion than did those from full-term infants. Platelet SC correlated with gestational age in all infants (p < 0.05), and both groups exhibited similar aggregation (AS). AS values, however, were significantly lower than the normal adult range in our laboratory. Infants born to mothers with pregnancy-induced hypertension displayed significantly lower SC. No association was found between CPA and postnatal complications. Conclusion: CPA provides a rapid, feasible option for testing platelet function in neonates. Its potential predictive value deserves further attention, and more extensive studies are warranted.
- Cone and plate(let) analyzer
- Platelet function