We investigated whether platelet activation could be quantitatively detected in patients with coronary artery disease using flow cytometric analysis of the expression of CD62P and CD63, which are activation-specific antigens on the platelet surface. Platelet samples were obtained from 16 healthy control subjects and 65 patients, of whom 25 had angiographically normal coronary arteries and 40 had at least one major coronary artery stenosis (≥ 50% narrowing). In both patient groups, CD62P expression was significantly higher than in the control group, but the difference between the two patient groups was not significant. In contrast, CD63 expression did not differ among the three groups. We also compared expression of these antigens after stratifying the patients according to the number of significant coronary artery stenoses. Patients with three-vessel disease had significantly increased CD62P and CD63 expression compared with the other subgroups. Our findings indicate that platelet activation occurs in patients with severe coronary artery stenosis.