Mean platelet volume and exercise stress test

Mehmet Birhan Yilmaz, Ersin Saricam, Senay Funda Biyikoglu, Yesim Guray, Umit Guray, Hatice Sasmaz, Sule Korkmaz
Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis 2004, 17 (2): 115-20

BACKGROUND: Long-term moderate or strenuous physical activity is associated with a considerable reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However acute exercise leads to a transient activation of the thrombotic system. Healthy individuals can react this by increasing their fibrinolytic capacity acutely. However, patients with ischemic heart disease, lacking fibrinolytic potential, may be at considerable risk for acute ischemic events if exposed to heavy physical exertion. Platelet size has been shown to reflect platelet activity. The mean platelet volume (MPV) can reflect changes in either the level of platelet stimulation or rate of platelet production.

DESIGN AND METHODS: We evaluated Treadmill exercise test (TMET) and compared MPV values (fl) before and after TMET in 63 consecutive patients who, then, underwent coronary angiography and found to have significant coronary artery disease in more than one coronary artery (>70% diameter stenosis in left anterior descending, right coronary or circumflex artery and >50% diameter stenosis in left main coronary artery). Sixty-three male patients were enrolled as a patient group with a mean age of 52.43 +/- 4.08 years and with strongly positive exercise test (> or =2 mm ST segment depression, horizontal or down-sloping). Thirty-five patients without significant coronary artery disease were selected as a control group with a mean age of 52.66 +/- 4.39 years having undergone TMET.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: In the patient and control groups, mean MPV values before TMET were the same, 8.52 +/- 0.63 and 8.45 +/- 0.58 respectively. Following TMET within 30 minutes, mean MPV were 10.03 +/- 0.96 and 8.50 +/- 0.45 respectively ( p < 0.001). When pre and post-TMET MPV values were evaluated together, the patient group had a significant increase in the MPV ( p < 0.001), whereas, the control group had no significant increase in the MPV ( p = 0.379). It was concluded that exercise possibly makes patients with significant coronary artery disease, more susceptible to a thrombotic event through various routes, one of that is platelet activation that could be measured indirectly via MPV. Healthy subjects react this thrombotic process by increasing their fibrinolytic capacity acutely. Patients with ischemic heart disease, particularly those with significantly narrowed coronary arteries, known to lack fibrinolytic capacity and have high shear stress, on the other hand, might face ischemic events, including sudden death following acute exercise.

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