Plasma concentration of beta thromboglobulin was used as an index of in vivo platelet activation in 36 patients after acute myocardial infarction. Twelve patients had diabetes, seven had pulmonary oedema or cardiogenic shock (pump failure) or both, and 17 had uncomplicated infarcts. On the first day of admission, concentrations of beta thromboglobulin were higher in the patients with diabetes and those with pump failure than in those with uncomplicated infarcts. Concentrations of beta thromboglobulin in the non-diabetic patients were studied by multiple regression analysis and were significantly associated with plasma concentrations of adrenaline, pump failure, and glucose but not with noradrenaline or infarct size. When all subjects were considered together, glucose, adrenaline, and pump failure were associated with the beta thromboglobulin concentration but diabetes was without significant effect. Hyperglycaemia and raised plasma adrenaline concentration after myocardial infarction may activate platelets, and this could contribute to poor outcome in such patients.
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