Reduced platelet function in preterm neonates compared with term neonates

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BACKGROUND: A reduced platelet function might contribute to the longer bleeding time seen in preterm neonates. However, the previously used platelet function testing in neonates is limited due to methodological limitations, mainly caused by difficulties in obtaining adequate blood volume. Therefore, the platelet function in preterm neonates is sparsely investigated. The aim of this study was to compare platelet function in preterm neonates at birth and at expected term age with platelet function in term neonates at birth.

METHODS: We included 43 preterm neonates born at gestational age (GA) 28 + 0 to 34 + 0 and 21 term neonates born at GA 38 + 0 to 41 + 0. Within the first 24 hours of life, 1-1.5 mL peripheral blood was obtained and for preterm neonates, resampling was performed at expected term age (GA 38 + 0 to 41 + 0). Platelet function testing included impedance aggregometry and platelet activation measured by flow cytometry. In addition, platelet count was determined.

RESULTS: Platelet count and platelet activation were reduced in preterm neonates compared with term neonates at birth, but we found no difference in impedance aggregometry at birth. At expected term age, platelet count and aggregation exceeded term levels, but platelet activation remained impaired in the preterm.

CONCLUSION: Preterm neonatal function is decreased at birth and does not seem to reach term levels during the first 4 to 13 weeks of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12751
JournalResearch and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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