Determination of platelet function has become increasingly important as new antiplatelet drugs are being developed. Objective means to monitor the pharmacological effects of these agents, in order to maximize efficacy and minimize toxicity, is needed. The available methods for determination of platelet function at the current time are reviewed, including platelet aggregometry, the PFA-100, flow cytometry, platelet contractile force, the rapid platelet function assay, the clot signature analyzer, Sonoclot, and thromboelastography. The principle, advantages, disadvantages, and clinical utility of each method is presented. The uses of the various methods of determining platelet function reported in the literature are summarized, in an effort to provide information regarding the applicability of those different methods.
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