Platelet behaviour on von willebrand factor changes in pregnancy: consequences of haemodilution and intrinsic changes in platelet function
Ricco, Antonio J.
Malone, Fergal. D.
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Cowman, Jonathan; Müllers, Sieglinde; Dunne, Eimear; Ralph, Adam; Ricco, Antonio J. Malone, Fergal. D.; Kenny, Dermot (2017). Platelet behaviour on von willebrand factor changes in pregnancy: consequences of haemodilution and intrinsic changes in platelet function. Scientific Reports 7 ,
Platelet function in pregnancy is poorly understood. Previous studies of platelet function in pregnancy have used non-physiological assays of platelet function with conflicting results. This study using a physiological assay of platelet function investigated platelet interactions with von Willebrand Factor (VWF) in blood from healthy pregnant women and healthy non-pregnant controls. Blood samples (200 mu l) from third-trimester pregnancies (n = 21) and non-pregnant controls (n = 21) were perfused through custom-made parallel-plate flow chambers coated with VWF under arterial shear (1,500 s(-1)). Multi-parameter measurements of platelet interactions with the immobilized VWF surface were recorded by digital-image microscopy and analysed using custom-designed platelet-tracking software. Platelet interactions with VWF decreased in healthy third-trimester pregnant participants relative to controls. This effect is most likely due to haemodilution which occurs physiologically during pregnancy. Interestingly, platelets in blood from pregnant participants translocated more slowly on VWF under arterial-shear conditions. These decreases in platelet translocation speed were independent of haemodilution, suggesting intrinsic changes in platelet function with pregnancy.