Toxic Influences on Platelet Function
An acquired modification of platelet function is considered to be “toxic”, when drugs or other chemicals interfere with the haemostatic potential of platelets but are not administered with the intention to treat disturbances in hemostasis. These unwanted platelet defects might either be inhibitory and clinically result in a prolonged bleeding time or stimulatory, causing a tendency for thrombosis. Because of the complex nature of platelet physiology, most agents affect more than one mechanism and in most cases it is not yet possible to classify these and other acquired disorders of platelet function by their molecular site of action (Vermylen and Blockmans 1989). Table 1 summarizes some classes of chemicals, including ethanol, that exert toxic effects on the platelet. The more interested reader is referred to several recent reviews dealing with acquired disturbances in platelet function in more detail (Barthel 1981; Carvalho and Rao 1987; Fass et al 1987; Vermylen and Blockmans 1989; Mikhailidis et al 1990).
KeywordsHeparin Methotrexate Neurol Cyclosporin Cardiol
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