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Pulmonary platelet kinetics in asthma.
  1. P W Ind,
  2. A M Peters,
  3. F Malik,
  4. J P Lavender,
  5. C T Dollery


    Platelets produce a range of bronchoconstrictor mediators. Measurements of plasma factors have implicated platelet activation in allergic asthma, and sensitised guinea pigs challenged with ovalbumin show pulmonary platelet aggregation accompanying bronchoconstriction. To investigate this further we injected autologous platelets labelled with indium 111 and red cells labelled with technetium 99m into three young volunteers with atopic asthma and three non-asthmatic volunteers and, after equilibration of platelets between blood and splenic pool, monitored lung 99mTc and 111In activities continuously. Comparison with the corresponding activities in blood samples allowed calculation of pulmonary platelet to red cell transit time ratio (tp/tr). This ratio was 0.9, 1.02, and 0.98 in the non-asthmatic subjects compared with 1.04, 0.97, and 1.17 in the asthmatic subjects. This argues against the existence of an intrapulmonary platelet pool in normal subjects; transpulmonary transit time was slightly prolonged in one asthmatic subject. Bronchial challenge with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus was performed in the asthmatic subjects and monitoring continued for a further 30 minutes. Antigen induced falls in FEV1 of 20-50% were accompanied by small decreases in the 111In but not in the 99mTc lung signal. In line with this tp/tr fell to 0.89, 0.89, and 1.05. Antigen induced bronchoconstriction was therefore not accompanied by intrapulmonary platelet accumulation. Platelet survival was normal at 10.2 days in both groups of subjects.

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