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Study Shows Oral Clopidogrel Reduced Blood Viscosity As Much As 18%
Research published in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation demonstrates that oral administration of Clopidogrel (75 mg/day) reduced diastolic blood viscosity values 12%, 12%, and 18% from baseline 1, 2, and 3 weeks after administration, respectively. Systolic blood viscosity values were also reduced 10% from baseline after the third week. (all p value < 0.01)The findings are based on a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 30 age and gender matched individuals with impaired blood viscosity and instrumental evidence of carotid and/or femoral atherosclerosis. Participants were randomized into two groups of 15 by a pre-determined computer code to ensure homogeneous distribution of inclusion criteria. One group received placebo tablet while the other was treated with Clopidogrel for three weeks. Systolic and diastolic blood viscosity values were monitored at time 0 (baseline) and after 1, 2, and 3 weeks.
Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet agent marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis as Plavix and by Sun Pharmaceuticals as Clopilet. Platelet aggregation is one of the major determinants of diastolic blood viscosity along with plasma fibrinogen concentrations and cellular rheology. Because it is indicated in the study that fibrinogen levels did not change from baseline after any of the three weeks, it is reasonable to presume that the reductions in diastolic blood viscosity are attributable to the ability of Clopidogrel to reduce platelet aggregation and improve red blood cell deformability. Therefore, it is not surprising that a reduction in the platelet activity among red blood cells would reduce diastolic blood viscosity, thereby improving laminar flow and reducing damage to the vessel wall.
The study authors wrote: “These results indicate that . . . Clopidogrel may have a positive influence on several hemorheological parameters, thus exerting its protection not only through inhibition of platelet function, but also through changes in the hemorheological profile. . . . Thus, the reduction in whole blood viscosity we observed in our study in subjects taking Clopidogrel for only three weeks, could have an impact in reducing arterial wall damage and possibly endothelial dysfunction, which is a recognized marker of subclinical atherosclerosis and a strong predictor of the future appearance of the clinical manifestations of the atherosclerotic process.”