Impaired Platelet Production of Nitric Oxide Predicts Presence of Acute Coronary Syndromes

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Thrombus formation within a coronary vessel is the acute precipitating event in most acute coronary syndromes. Recently, constitutive nitric oxide synthase (cNOS) has been identified in human platelets, and platelet-derived nitric oxide has been shown to inhibit platelet recruitment after aggregation. However, its role in regulating platelet responses under normal or pathologic conditions has not yet been elucidated.


In summary, aggregating platelets from patients with acute coronary syndromes produce less NO. Since platelet aggregation and thrombus formation are implicated in unstable angina and myocardial infarction, impaired platelet-derived NO production may contribute to the development of acute coronary syndromes. (Circulation. 1998;98:1481-1486.)

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