The Antiplatelet Effect of Clopidogrel Decreases With Patient Age

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Recent data suggest that clopidogrel-mediated platelet inhibition is age dependent. However, so far the effect of age on adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-inducible platelet reactivity has only been investigated by test systems measuring surrogate markers of platelet aggregation. We therefore sought to study the impact of age on platelet inhibition by clopidogrel by whole-blood flow cytometry. Platelet surface P-selectin expression, activated glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa, and monocyte-platelet aggregate (MPA) formation were determined by flow cytometry in 302 patients with dual antiplatelet therapy after successful angioplasty and stenting. Patient age was independently associated with ADP-inducible P-selectin expression, GPIIb/IIIa, and MPA formation (all P < .05). Moreover, platelet surface expressions of P-selectin and activated GPIIb/IIIa were significantly higher in patients ≥75 years compared with younger patients (both P ≤ .004). Likewise, MPA formation was significantly more pronounced in patients ≥75 years (P = .02). Finally, high P-selectin and high GPIIb/IIIa were significantly more frequent in patients ≥75 years compared with younger patients (both P < .001). Further, high MPA ADP occurred more frequently in patients ≥75 years compared to younger patients (P < .05). In conclusion, the antiplatelet effect of clopidogrel decreases with patient age.

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