Increased Expression of P-Selectin on Platelets Is a Risk Factor for Silent Cerebral Infarction in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: Role of Nitric Oxide

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Abstract

Background

Platelet activation and decreased levels of nitrite and nitrate (NOx), stable end products of nitric oxide (NO), are reported in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We examined the time-course changes in plasma NOx levels and the expression of P-selectin on platelets after the onset of AF in a canine model and determined whether these parameters could be risk factors for silent cerebral infarction in patients with AF.

Conclusions

An irregular heart rate that is characteristic of AF appeared to blunt NO synthesis. The increased expression of P-selectin on platelets associated with the reduced NO levels was a risk factor for silent cerebral infarction in patients with AF. (Circulation. 1998;98:1721-1727.)

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