Dual antiplatelet treatment with clopidogrel and aspirin represents standard regimen in prevention of thromboembolic events in patients with ischemic heart disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). One of the greatest pitfalls of clopidogrel treatment is large inter-individual variability in response. Large amount of patients does not respond adequately and therefore are not „protected“ even in spite of receiving the therapy. Poor responders are exposed to three-fold increased risk of myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis and cardiac death.
Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet prodrug, whose active metabolite inhibits platelet function by irreversible binding to the (adenosine diphosphate) platelet receptor P2Y12. Receptor P2Y12 plays primal role in ADP-mediated platelet activation, and also in mechanism of action of ADP inhibitors such as clopidogrel, prasugrel etc. Reasons stated above, raised the necessity for implementing reliable laboratory test in order to identify the unprotected patients. In an ideal scenario, such test would serve to adjust the dose and guide the individual tailored treatment.
Vasodilator Stimulated Phosphoprotein (VASP) is an intracellular platelet protein which is non phosphorylated at basal state. Since its relation in cascade with P2Y12 receptor, VASP phosphorylation corerlates with inhibition of P2Y12 which is the receptor of prime importance in ADP mediated activation of platelets and as is primary target of ADP inhibitors action. Outcome of the assay is represented as the value of platelet reactivity index (PRI), where PRI values above 50% are considered inadequate response to treatment and signal exposure to increased risk of myocardial infarction, post-PCI stent thrombosis and cardiac death. VASP-P flow cytometric assay is emerging into the spotlight as the promising method, mostly for its specificity for ADP inhibitors, better outlook for standardising results and lesser sample manipulation compared to multiple electrode aggregometry.