High platelet counts have been found to play a significant role in inflammation caused during chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. That is according to observational study published in the April 2014 online issue of Thorax, “Thrombocytosis is associated with increased short and long term mortality after exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a role for antiplatelet therapy?”
The study, conducted by Michelle Harrison, MD, of the University of Dundee in Scotland, linked inflammation from high platelet counts to poor short and long-term outcomes in COPD, particularly in those patients who had suffered from acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD).
Acting as a secondary analysis of a previous study performed, the cohort study observed adults over the age of 40 with spirometry-confirmed COPD admitted between 2009 and 2011. The study tested two outcomes: the primary outcome was 1-year all-cause mortality and the secondary included in-hospital mortality and cardiovascular events.
While anti-platelet therapy, such as Asprin or clopidrogrel, did not significantly cut the likelihood of dying in the hospital, it was associated with a 37% reduction in the risk of 1-year mortality and may have a protective role to play in patients with AECOPD, counteracting the inflammation associated with COPD exacerbations.