Mean Platelet Volume as a Diagnostic Marker for Cardiovascular Disease: Drawbacks of Preanalytical Conditions and Measuring Techniques

Marcus D. Lance*, Matthijs Sloep, Yvonne M. C. Henskens, Marco A. E. Marcus

*Corresponding author for this work

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After the first description of platelets more than a century ago, the knowledge about their origin and function grew continuously. The development of the impedance method as a completely automated assay allowed integrating mean platelet volume (MPV) measurement as a routine parameter of the complete blood count. This enabled us to focus more on the association of platelet function and size. Since then, many authors described MPV as a marker of platelet reactivity and risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Hence, the preanalytical variability of this parameter is known from its introduction as standard laboratory value. Unfortunately no preanalytical standards have been implemented. This review shows the high variability in the literature with MPV as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. After a brief description of the biology of platelets, we provide an in-depth survey of the measurement methods and their drawbacks. Finally, we propose a possible approach to standardization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
JournalClinical and Applied Thrombosis-Hemostasis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • platelet size
  • mean platelet volume
  • review

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