Mechanisms of Platelet Dysfunction in Patients with Implantable Devices

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As treatment options in modern medicine continue to expand, physicians globally have witnessed a veritable explosion in the utility of therapeutic devices. Particularly within the spheres of cardiology and critical care medicine, a plethora of devices are now available with an ever-increasing range of clinical indications. Additionally, the advent of transcatheter-mounted devices has enabled patients unsuitable for more invasive procedures to benefit from intervention, thereby greatly expanding the cohort of device-eligible patients. However, despite advances in design and materials, as well as pharmacological prophylaxis, hemostatic complications continue to plague device recipients, contributing to morbidity and mortality. Elucidating the complex interplay between components of the hemostatic system and cardiac devices has been the subject of much recent research, with greater focus on the coagulation cascade and device-induced perturbations. However, less is known about impact of mechanical surfaces on platelets and the resultant clinical complications, both hemorrhagic and thrombotic. This review will focus on exploring the pathobiology of platelet-surface interactions, contextualized within the wider hemostatic system, with a focus on the increasingly utilized technologies of transcatheter aortic-valve implantation, ventricular assist devices, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

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