It has been known for a long time that platelets play a vital role in hemorrhagic, thrombotic, and ischemic disorders. While clinical laboratories over the years have performed many different tests of platelet function, there has been very little, if any, standardization of procedures globally.1 The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) recently published a document, Platelet Function Testing by Aggregometry; Approved Guideline (H58-A), to address this void.
Standardizing Platelet Function Testing
Dr. Douglas Christie, chairholder of the CLSI subcommittee that developed this document, indicated that this is a long-awaited and vital document for various reasons. It is the first comprehensive document designed to help laboratory professionals in standardizing platelet function testing. This effort is vital internationally, Dr. Christie said, because of the well-known role of platelets in hemorrhagic and thrombotic disorders as well as the ever-growing interest in using antiplatelet therapy as a standard of care in managing cardiovascular disease (which, as an entity, is increasing in incidence).
“Because of the lack of agreement concerning which tests to use and the performance variables of such tests, H58-A aims to provide a sound, valid basis to establish and standardize platelet function testing in any clinical setting where such testing is performed,” Dr. Christie continued.
This document does not address all platelet function tests, nor does it claim to be the one standard of platelet function testing. Dr. Alvin Schmaier, another member of the CLSI subcommittee, said aggregometry is a classic method of assessing platelet function and has been around for decades. “However, until now, there has been no unanimity or consensus in assessing platelet function generally, or …