Thromb Haemost 2015 Jul 16;114(1):14-25. Epub 2015 Apr 16.
Diego Mezzano, MD, Department of Hematology-Oncology, School of Medicine, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Portugal 61, 2nd Floor, Santiago, Chile, Tel.: +56 2 2354 3774, Fax: +56 2 354 3776, E-mail:
Measurement of platelet granule release to detect inherited platelet secretion disorders (IPSDs) is essential for the evaluation of patients with abnormal bleeding and is necessary to distinguish which granule sub-types are affected and whether there is abnormal granule bio-synthesis or secretion. The radioactive serotonin incorporation and release assay, described before 1970, is still considered the "gold standard" test to assess platelet δ-granule release, although is unsuitable for clinical diagnostic laboratories. Luciferin-based assays, such as lumiaggregometry, are the most widely performed alternatives, although these methods do not distinguish defects in δ-granule biosynthesis from defects in secretion. Platelet α-granule release is commonly evaluated using flow cytometry by measuring surface exposure of P-selectin after platelet activation. However, this assay has poor sensitivity for some α-granule disorders. Only few studies have been published with more recently developed assays and no critical reviews on these methods are available. In this review, we describe the rationale for developing robust and accurate laboratory tests of platelet granule release and describe the characteristics of the currently available tests. We identify an unmet need for further systematic evaluation of new assays and for standardisation of methodologies for clinical diagnostic laboratories.