Background - Patients suspected of platelet function defects represent a diagnostic challenge for the clinical laboratory, mainly due to the complexity and poor standardization of screening methods. We compared a new flow-based
chip-equipped point-of-care (T-TAS) device with lumi-aggregometry and other specific tests.
Materials and methods - The study included 96 patients suspected of platelet function defects and 26 patients referred to hospital for an evaluation of residual platelet function while on antiplatelet therapy.
Results - Forty-eight of 96 patients displayed abnormal platelet function by lumi-aggregometry, and 10 of them had defective granule content and were classified as δ-storage pool disease (δ-SPD). T-TAS compared favorably with lumi-aggregometry in detecting the most severe forms of platelet function defects (i.e., δ-SPD) [test agreement (lumi-light transmission aggregometry [lumi-LTA] vs T-TAS) for the δ-SPD subgroup was 80% and K CHOEN 0.695. T-TAS was less sensitive to milder platelet function defects (i.e., primary secretion defects [PSD]). Concerning patients on antiplatelets, test agreement (lumi-LTA vs T-TAS) in detecting patients who were responders to this therapy was 54%; K CHOEN 0.150.
Discussion - The results indicate that T-TAS can detect the more severe forms of platelet function defects such as δ-SPD. There is limited agreement of T-TAS with lumi-aggregometry in identifying responders to antiplatelets. However, this poor agreement is commonly shared by lumi-aggregometry and other devices owing to the lack of test specificity and of prospective data from clinical trials linking platelet function with therapeutic efficacy.