Open Access Open Badges Research article

Infection-associated platelet dysfunction of canine platelets detected in a flow chamber model

Annika Ferkau1, Hans-Jörg Gillmann1, Reinhard Mischke2, Simone Calmer1, Silke Ecklebe1, Monia Abid2, Jan-Wighard Minde2, Frank Echtermeyer1 and Gregor Theilmeier1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, Hannover D-30625, Germany

2 Small Animal Clinic, Hannover School of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 9, Hannover D-30559, Germany

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BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:112  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-112

Published: 7 June 2013



In the present study, the influence of bacterial infection, lipopolysacharides (LPS) and hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on platelet function in a parallel plate flow chamber were measured. Experiments were performed with non-activated and protease-activating-receptor (PAR) 4 agonist activated platelets. Comparative measurements were in vivo capillary bleeding time, platelet function analyzer and impedance aggregometry.


PAR 4 agonist did not increase platelet adhesion of platelets from dogs with bacterial inflammation in the flow chamber in contrast to platelets of healthy dogs. Except from impedance aggregometry with lower sensitivity and specificity, PFA did not detect platelet dysfunctions in dogs with infection. In vitro addition of LPS or HES significantly reduced platelet covered area after PAR-activation.


The flow chamber detects platelet dysfunctions in dogs with inflammatory diseases. In vitro addition of LPS highlights the inhibiting effect of bacterial wall components on platelet function. Platelet dysfunction induced by infection could possibly also be diagnosed after treatment of sepsis with colloids has commenced. The flow chamber could be a useful tool to detect sepsis associated platelet dysfunction given that larger prospective trials confirm these findings from a proof of concept study.

Dog; Flow chamber; Inflammation; PAR 4 agonist