Patients with liver disease have abnormal platelet function. We have investigated the retention of platelets to glass beads in fulminant hepatic failure, cirrhosis and normal controls. Glass bead retention was significantly increased in fulminant hepatic failure (91.5 ± 4.8%, n = 10) compared with controls (80.2 ± 8.5%, n = 10) whereas it was significantly reduced in cirrhosis (46.2 ± 26.8%, n = 10). The increased platelet adhesiveness might predispose to the formation of platelet aggregates in the blood observed during charcoal haemoperfusion in patients with fulminant hepatic failure.

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