Objective: To review the current in vivo and in vitro tests of platelet function (PF) currently available and applicable to companion animals. Data Sources: Scientific reviews, case reports, original clinical and laboratory research publications, and recent veterinary research conference proceedings. Human Data Synthesis: Disorders of primary hemostasis are very common in human medicine. These include inborn errors of PF and granule storage contents, primary disease mechanisms that alter PF, disorders secondary to surgical interventions, and the effects of anticoagulant medications. Knowledge of PF disorders and the optimal method for assessment must be known to understand the mechanism and to monitor the process or drug therapy. Veterinary Data Synthesis: Interest in the study and treatment of primary coagulopathies in clinical veterinary patients has resulted in a surge of recent publications and scientific research presentations. A translational approach that uses laboratory and point-of-care tools to uncover the pathophysiologic mechanisms in the patient with defects in primary hemostasis allows the clinician to plan the diagnosis and treatment more effectively. Summary: Primary hemostatic disorders are being more commonly recognized in clinical veterinary practice. The diagnosis of platelet dysfunction may be obtained via point-of-care analyzers that use relatively small blood samples and have a quick turnaround time. Recent investigations may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of PF disorders and potentially the optimization, or discovery, of novel treatments. Conclusions: The assessment of PF can be completed through in vivo and in vitro point-of-care techniques as well as by submission of blood samples to more specialized platelet biology laboratories. The information obtained including the physical examination and clinical manifestations of a hemostatic disorder, as well as the benefits of each testing modality, must be known prior to the diagnostic investigation of a patient with a coagulopathy.
- Von Willebrand
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