Platelet activation after presyncope by lower body negative pressure in humans

Morten Zaar*, Chriselda G. Fedyk, Heather F. Pidcoke, Michael R. Scherer, Kathy L. Ryan, Caroline A. Rickards, Carmen Hinojosa-Laborde, Victor A. Convertino, Andrew P. Cap

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Central hypovolemia elevates hemostatic activity which is essential for preventing exsanguination after trauma, but platelet activation to central hypovolemia has not been described. We hypothesized that central hypovolemia induced by lower body negative pressure (LBNP) activates platelets. Eight healthy subjects were exposed to progressive central hypovolemia by LBNP until presyncope. At baseline and 5 min after presyncope, hemostatic activity of venous blood was evaluated by flow cytometry, thrombelastography, and plasma markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis. Cell counts were also determined. Flow cytometry revealed that LBNP increased mean fluorescence intensity of PAC-1 by 1959±455 units (P<0.001) and percent of fluorescence-positive platelets by 27±18%-points (P=0.013). Thrombelastography demonstrated that coagulation was accelerated (R-time decreased by 0.8±0.4 min (P=0.001)) and that clot lysis increased (LY60 by 6.0±5.8%-points (P=0.034)). Plasma coagulation factor VIII and von Willebrand factor ristocetin cofactor activity increased (P=0.011 and P=0.024, respectively), demonstrating increased coagulation activity, while von Willebrand factor antigen was unchanged. Plasma protein C activity and tissue-type plasminogen activator increased (P=0.007 and P=0.017, respectively), and D-dimer increased by 0.03±0.02 mg l-1 (P=0.031), demonstrating increased fibrinolytic activity. Plasma prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time were unchanged. Platelet count increased by 15±13% (P=0.014) and red blood cells by 9±4% (P=0.002). In humans, LBNP-induced presyncope activates platelets, as evidenced by increased exposure of active glycoprotein IIb/IIIa, accelerates coagulation. LBNP activates fibrinolysis, similar to hemorrhage, but does not alter coagulation screening tests, such as prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time. LBNP results in increased platelet counts, but also in hemoconcentration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere116174
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 29 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


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