Effects of age, gender and menstrual cycle on platelet function assessed by impedance aggregometry.

Research paper by G G Berlin, M M Hammar, L L Tapper, N N Tynngård

Indexed on: 09 May '18Published on: 09 May '18Published in: Platelets


Platelets are needed to prevent or arrest bleeding and aggregate at the site of injury upon vascular damage. Platelets express receptors for estrogens which might affect the function of the platelets and their hemostatic ability. The aim was to identify possible differences in platelet function related to age, gender, and phases of the menstrual cycle by use of impedance aggregometry with Multiplate. In the first part of the study, platelet function was assessed in 60 healthy individuals (30 men and 30 women) in each of three age groups (20-25, 40-45, and 60-65 years). In the second part of the study, the platelet function was analyzed on four occasions during the menstrual cycle in women without oral contraceptives (OCs) (n = 17) and compared to 19 women on OCs and 18 men of similar age (20-40 years). For the women on OCs, aggregation was analyzed once during the tablet-free week and once late during the period with OCs. The men were sampled once. Women of younger age (<45 years) had significantly higher agonist-induced aggregation response than both men and post-menopausal women (60-65 years). The agonist-induced aggregation response did not differ between phases of the menstrual cycle or OC use. The results suggest that estradiol and/or progesterone affect spontaneous aggregation since it was found to be lowest in the mid-luteal phase. Spontaneous aggregation was significantly lower in women on OCs than in both men and women without OCs. Our findings indicate that fertile age is associated with higher aggregation response capacity of the platelets, possibly to prevent excessive bleeding during menstruation, but this response capacity is not altered during the menstrual cycle or by use of OCs.