The effect of acute hypoglycaemia on platelet function was examined in patients undergoing an insulin stress test. Enhanced platelet aggregation was observed in all cases but platelet count, platelet adenine nucleotides, and the plasma level of von Willebrand factor were unchanged overall. The onset of the hypoglycaemia-induced increase in platelet aggregation coincided with the lowest blood glucose levels recorded and with the clinical signs of adrenaline release. Increased platelet aggregation was maintained thereafter for the two-hour test period. There was no apparent correlation with changes in cortisol, growth hormone, and prolactin. No change in platelet function was observed after the administration of L-dopa. We suggest that the measurement of platelet aggregation during a standard insulin stress test may provide a means of evaluating platelet function in vivo and the influence of drugs thereon.
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