Background: Mean platelet volume (MPV) is increased in patients at high risk for athero-thrombotic diseases. Thus, an elevated MPV may be a risk marker for platelet activation. Methods: Healthy subjects with normal triglyceride (TG) levels (90±6 mg/dl; n=40) or mild hypertriglyceridemia (161±79 mg/dl; n=32) were studied. MPV was measured in fasting blood samples before and after stimulation with collagen (10 μg/ml), and exposure to 4 or 37°C. Samples from the normotriglyceridemic subjects were tested again 4 h after consuming a high-fat drink. Results: Collagen and exposure to 4°C increased MPV, whereas incubation at 37°C lowered MPV regardless of TG level. There was no significant difference in unstimulated MPV between the fasting and the fed states in the normotriglyceridemic subjects (both 7.2±0.1 fl; mean±SEM), nor between the latter group and hypertriglyceridemic subjects (7.0±0.1 fl). There was a significant negative relation between MPV and fasting TG level. Conclusions: This study suggests that MPV response to low-dose collagen may be a useful indicator of platelet propensity to activation. Further studies are warranted to correlate MPV with classical platelet aggregation tests and with the use of platelet-active drugs.
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