Background Previous studies have suggested that women do not accrue equal therapeutic benefit from antiplatelet medication as compared with men. The physiological mechanism and clinical implications behind this gender disparity have yet to be established. Methods On-treatment platelet reactivity was determined in 717 men and 234 women on dual antiplatelet therapy, undergoing elective coronary stent implantation. Platelet function testing was performed using arachidonic acid and adenosine diphosphate-induced light transmittance aggregometry (LTA) and the VerifyNow P2Y12 and Aspirin assays. Also the incidence of all-cause death, non-fatal acute myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis and ischaemic stroke was evaluated. Results Women had higher baseline platelet counts than men. Women exhibited a higher magnitude of on-aspirin platelet reactivity using LTA, but not using the VerifyNow Aspirin assay. The magnitude of on-clopidogrel platelet reactivity was significantly higher in women as compared with men with both tests used. The cut-off value to identify patients at risk as well as the incidence of clinical endpoints was similar between women and men (16/234[6.8%] vs. 62/717[8.6%], p=0.38). Conclusion Although the magnitude of platelet reactivity was higher in women, the absolute difference between genders was small and both the cut-off value to identify patients at risk and the incidence of the composite endpoint were similar between genders. Thus, it is unlikely that the difference in platelet reactivity accounts for a worse prognosis in women.

Antiplatelet therapy, Clopidogrel Aspirin, Gender, Platelet function testing,
Netherlands Heart Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Breet, N.J, Sluman, M.A, van Berkel, M.A.J.P.J, van Werkum, J.W, Bouman, H.J, Harmsze, A.M, … ten Berg, J.M. (2011). Effect of gender difference on platelet reactivity. Netherlands Heart Journal, 19(11), 451–457. doi:10.1007/s12471-011-0189-y