Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is associated with platelet dysfunction (PD), an important cause of postoperative bleeding. The etiology of PD is not completely understood. We mapped the platelets’ function during CPB to determine the etiology of PD. Platelets activation, measured by procaspase activating compound-1 and P-selectin expression (CD62P), after activation by adenosine diphosphate and thrombin receptor activator peptide, were decreased by protamine. Changes during CPB were insignificant. Platelet-leukocyte aggregation was increased by CPB but not by protamine. Platelet apoptosis marker, annexin V, was increased by protamine. Changes during CPB were insignificant. Our findings demonstrate that protamine given after CPB plays a central role in PD and count decrease.
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