A high in-hospital platelet distribution width is associated with a higher incidence of all-cause death in patients with severe pulmonary hypertension due to chronic lung disease, according to a study published in the journal Pulmonary Circulation. According to the authors, this finding suggests that platelet distribution width could be used to estimate the severity of pulmonary hypertension due to chronic lung diseases.
Pulmonary hypertension is a common complication of chronic lung disease. Factors affecting survival are not well researched but platelet distribution width has been recognized as a potential risk predictor of pulmonary hypertension, including pulmonary arterial hypertension.
To investigate whether in-hospital platelet distribution width could be a sensitive predictor of all-cause death in patients with severe pulmonary hypertension due to chronic lung diseases, a team of researchers in China led by Jiang Rong, MD, measured the early in-hospital platelet distribution width of 67 patients with severe pulmonary hypertension due to chronic lung disease. During the follow-up period (median of 2.4 years), 44 of the patients died.
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The researchers used Cox proportional hazards models to determine the association between the level of platelet distribution width and all-cause death. They found that there was a strong association between the level of in-hospital platelet distribution width and the risk of all-cause death in these patients.
Precisely, in patients with a platelet distribution width of 16.1% or more, the hazard ratio for all-cause death was 5.278 higher, compared to patients with a platelet distribution width lower than 16.1%. Higher levels of platelet distribution width were also associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality.
“As it can be simply and rapidly measured from routine blood examination, should our results be confirmed in larger samples, [platelet distribution width] may prove to be a widely available, inexpensive, and repeatable prognostic marker,” the researchers wrote.
Platelet distribution width is a measure of how similar the platelets are in size. A high platelet distribution width means that platelets vary greatly in size. This is thought to be associated with vascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
Wang L, Shen L, Zhao YL, et al. Survival in severe pulmonary hypertension due to chronic lung disease: influence of in-hospital platelet distribution width. Pulm Circ. 2021;11(3):20458940211026484. doi:10.1177/20458940211026484