Laboratory assessments of therapeutic platelet inhibition in endovascular neurosurgery: comparing results of the VerifyNow P2Y12 assay to thromboelastography with platelet mapping


Journal of Neurosurgery, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEInhibition of platelet aggregation is vital to preventing thromboembolic complications related to stent placement in endovascular neurosurgery, but excessive inhibition potentiates hemorrhagic complications. Recent evidence suggests an ideal inhibition range of 70–150 P2Y12 response units (PRU) as measured on the VerifyNow assay, which relies on photometric measurements of platelet aggregation. Thromboelastography (TEG) with platelet mapping (PM) is an alternative assay that directly measures clot formation and mechanical strength. This study compares the results of PRU to TEG-PM.METHODSPatients with simultaneous or near-simultaneous PRU and TEG-PM results who underwent cervical carotid artery stenting, intracranial stent-assisted aneurysm coiling, or flow diversion at the authors’ institution between August 2015 and November 2016 were identified. PRU results were compared with the TEG maximal amplitude (MA) attributable to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) activity (MA-ADP) as measured by TEG-PM. Platelet inhibition was considered therapeutic for MA-ADP values < 50 mm or PRU < 194. The Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated, and the sensitivity and specificity of PRU were calculated assuming that the results of TEG-PM reflected the true degree of platelet inhibition.RESULTSTwenty-three patients were identified with a total of 37 matched sets of TEG-PM and PRU. Three of these pairs were excluded due to anemia outside of the PRU manufacturer’s recommended range. The Pearson correlation coefficient for these values was 0.50 (p = 0.0026). The prevalence of clopidogrel nonresponders determined by TEG-PM (9%) matched reported rates (5%–12%); PRU demonstrated much higher prevalence (39%). For detecting a therapeutic level of platelet inhibition, PRU demonstrated a sensitivity of 0.59, specificity of 0.50, positive predictive value of 0.95, and negative predictive value of 0.07. Ideal inhibition was concordant in only 25% of observations in which at least one of the results was ideal.CONCLUSIONSAgreement between TEG-PM and PRU regarding the degree of platelet inhibition is poor. PRU likely overestimates clopidogrel resistance, as 93% of patients with PRU > 194 demonstrate a therapeutic level of platelet inhibition on TEG.

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