The effects of three different platelet modifying regimens on the degree of intimal thickening of autogenous vein grafts in rabbits were measured one month after operation. Dipyridamole alone (2 mg/kg/6 h) had little effect on the intimal thickness of these rabbits compared with that of controls (mean (1 SEM) for treated animals: 72.0 (7.9) micron; controls: 63.6 (6.0) micron). High dose acetylsalicylic acid (40 mg/kg/24 h) plus dipyridamole (2 mg/kg/6 h) increased intimal thickening significantly (85.8 (6.0) v 63.6 (6.2) micron; p = 0.05, n = 17). Low dose acetylsalicylic acid (0.5 mg/kg/24 h) plus dipyridamole (2 mg/kg/6 h) also increased intimal thickening (79.0 (6.1) v 63.6 (6.0] micron but not to a significant degree. It has previously been shown in vitro that acetylsalicylic acid increases the area of an exposed subendothelial arterial surface covered by platelets. Such an effect may explain our finding of increased intimal thickening with high dose acetylsalicylic acid plus dipyridamole.
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