Point-of-Care Platelet Function Monitoring: Implications for Patients With Platelet Inhibitors in Cardiac Surgery

Daniel Bolliger, Marcus D. Lancé, Martin Siegemund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Although most physicians are comfortable managing the limited anticoagulant effect of aspirin, the recent administration of potent P2Y12 receptor inhibitors in patients undergoing cardiac surgery remains a dilemma. Guidelines recommend discontinuation of potent P2Y12 inhibitors 5- to- 7 days before surgery to reduce the risk of postoperative hemorrhage. Such a strategy might not be feasible before urgent surgery, due to ongoing myocardial ischemia or in patients at high risk for thromboembolic events. Recently, different point-of-care devices to assess functional platelet quality have become available for clinical use. The aim of this narrative review was to evaluate the implications and potential benefits of platelet function monitoring in guiding perioperative management and therapeutic options in patients treated with antiplatelets, including aspirin or P2Y12 receptor inhibitors, undergoing cardiac surgery. No objective superiority of one point-of-care device over another was found in a large meta-analysis. Their accuracy and reliability are generally limited in the perioperative period. In particular, preoperative platelet function testing has been used to assess platelet contribution to bleeding after cardiac surgery. However, predictive values for postoperative hemorrhage and transfusion requirements are low, and there is a significant variability between and within these tests. Further, platelet function monitoring has been used to optimize the preoperative waiting period after cessation of dual antiplatelet therapy before urgent cardiac surgery. Furthermore, studies assessing their value in therapeutic decisions in bleeding patients after cardiac surgery are scarce. A general and liberal use of perioperative platelet function testing is not yet recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1059
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Coagulation Monitoring
  • Platelet Function
  • Platelet Inhibitors


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