What tests are available to evaluate platelet function?
The patient who presents with a platelet disorder is dif-ficult to evaluate with standard laboratory tests because both platelet quantity and quality must be assessed. Tests of platelet function have been criticized for being difficult to perform, lacking reproducibility, and being of questionable clinical relevance. The ideal test would be easy to perform, inexpensive, and would not require specialized equipment, with results that could be reproduced and correlate with outcome. Bedside tests of coagulation include the bleeding time test, thromboelastography (Haemoscope Corporation, Skokie, IL), and newer tests such as the platelet function analyzer, PFA-100 (Dade Behring, Newark, DE).