Platelet Function Alterations in Healthy Pregnancy, and Pregnant Smokers.
COVID-19 induces a hyperactive phenotype in circulating platelets.
Presented by Steven Cullen, Medical Scientist and PhD Student
Chaired by Dr Irene Regan
Significant alterations in platelet activity occur during normal pregnancy and have been linked to placental disorders such as pre-eclampsia and foetal growth restriction (FGR). In recent years aspirin has been advocated to prevent such platelet and placenta mediated complications. Cigarette smoking increases risk of arterial thrombosis through platelet activation and is a leading cause of FGR in pregnancy. In this study we examine platelet function in healthy pregnant women, pregnant smokers, and non-pregnant controls.
Although high rates of venous thromboembolism and evidence of COVID-19-induced endothelial dysfunction have been reported, the precise aetiology of the increased thrombotic risk associated with COVID-19 infection remains to be fully elucidated. As major players of thrombo-inflammation, platelets release large amounts of immunomodulatory molecules and regulate leukocyte and endothelial activity, which are both altered in COVID-19. As such, we assessed clinical platelet parameters and circulating platelet activity in patients with severe and non-severe COVID-19.
After graduating from Biomedical Science in DIT/TUD in 2015 Steven began working in the Haematology laboratory at Tallaght University Hospital before starting his PhD at RCSI. The primary focus of his research in collaboration clinical partners at the Coombe Women and Infants University hospital, was platelet functionality in pregnancy. In 2020 Steven collaborated with research colleagues at the UCD Conway institute and clinical partners at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital investigating platelet functionality in patients with COVID-19. Steven is currently a Medical Scientist in the Haematology Department at Tallaght University Hospital.
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