Functional and morphological studies on blood platelets in a thrombasthenic horse



A four-year-old Standardbred gelding presented with a 3.5 year history of intermittent epistaxis and spontaneous submucosal petechiae and ecchymoses in the nares and the mouth. Routine haematological and biochemical examinations were unremarkable. A thrombocytopathy was suspected when activated partial thromboplastin time, one stage prothrombin time, plasma fibrinogen and the platelet count were all normal. The patient's platelets failed to aggregate with serotonin, adenosine diphosphate, collagen (at 20μg/ml) or the endoperoxide analogue U46619. Very high levels of collagen (100μg/ml) did cause aggregation. The response to the calcium ionophore A23187 was reduced and although complete degranulation occurred the resulting aggregates were unstable. Thromboxane generation in response to collagen and ADP was inferred from the concentration of its stable metabolite thromboxane B2 and was reduced. A diagnosis of a thrombasthenia-like syndrome possibly equivalent to Type II Glanzmann's thrombasthenia in people was made.