Phosphatidylserine expressing platelet microparticle levels at hospital presentation are decreased in sepsis non-survivors and correlate with thrombocytopenia

Michael A. Puskarich, Denise C. Cornelius, Sibali Bandyopadhyay, Maggie McCalmon, Robert Tramel, Wood D. Dale, Alan E. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Sepsis induced platelet activation releases platelet microparticles (PMPs). PMPs express phosphatidylserine (PS) and can serve as a scaffold for the prothrombinase complex, thereby promoting coagulation. Studies of PMPs in intensive care unit sepsis patients demonstrate mixed results, while the earliest changes and potential effects of clinical interventions remain understudied. We hypothesized PMPs would be associated with patient outcome and dysfunctional coagulation shortly after emergency department presentation with sepsis. Methods: Cohort study of patients from a single center enrolled in a previously published randomized control trial comparing two early resuscitation strategies. Adults presenting to the emergency department (ED) with suspected infection, ≥2 SIRS criteria, and either systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg or lactate >4 mmol/L were eligible. Triple positive platelet microparticles (PMPs) expressing phosphatidylserine and integrin complexes alphaIIb (CD41) and beta3 (CD61) were quantitated using plasma from the time of enrollment. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included platelet count, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and prothrombin time (PT). Results: 193 patients were enrolled and 184 had samples available. In-hospital mortality was 21%. 10 (5%) patients developed DIC. Median platelet count was 197 (IQR 135, 280) and PT was 13.2 (IQR 11.9, 16.8). Median triple positive PMP counts were 932 per μL (IQR 381, 1872). PMPs were significantly lower in non-survivors (575 vs 1128, p = 0.02) and non-significantly lower in DIC (387 vs 942, p = 0.17). PMPs demonstrated a positive linear association with platelet count (p < 0.001, R2 = 0.21). After adjusting for platelet count, PMPs were no longer significant predictors of mortality (p = 0.28). We observed no association between PMPs and PT. Conclusion: Similar to patients enrolled later in the intensive care unit, PS-expressing PMPs are lower in emergency department sepsis non-survivors. These changes primarily reflect the degree of thrombocytopenia, and an independent prognostic role was not observed. Future studies should control for platelet count in assessment of PMP prognosis in sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalThrombosis Research
StatePublished - Aug 2018

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