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Platelet Function after Cessation of Chronic Clopidogrel Therapy

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Surgeons increasingly encounter patients on clopidogrel therapy who are preparing to undergo surgery. The goal of this study was to examine the change in platelet function after the common clinical scenario of discontinuing chronic clopidogrel therapy in those patients preparing to undergo an elective surgery, and the time course of platelet function recovery after clopidogrel discontinuation. Patients on clopidogrel therapy scheduled for an elective surgical procedure had their platelet function tested using a VerifyNow P2Y12 device (Accumetrics, San Diego, CA). Platelet inhibition was evaluated at baseline before clopidogrel discontinuation, and subsequently studied every other day in the week before their scheduled procedure. Mean platelet inhibition was 32.1 per cent on Day 0 (before clopidogrel discontinuation), decreasing to 3.7 per cent on Day 4. Platelet inhibition decreased significantly after discontinuation of clopidogrel in a time-dependent manner (P = 0.011), although a considerable interindividual variability of P2Y12 reaction units values was observed over the study period. Patients on concomitant proton pump inhibitors and clopidogrel demonstrated a decreased effect of clopidogrel. In conclusion, individual platelet function monitoring may assist the surgeon in perioperative decision-making in patients receiving clopidogrel therapy preparing to undergo elective surgery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Beaumont Health System, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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