The effect of a new, specific 5-HT2 receptor antagonist sarpogrelate (MCI-9042) treatment on platelet function and serotonin levels in both plasma and whole blood in Buerger's disease, was assessed in a pilot study. We investigated 10 patient suffering from Buerger's disease. Sarpogrelate in a dose of 3 x 100mg a day was given p.o. for a period of 8 weeks. It was well tolerated and no major side effects were noted. It was judged to be effective in some patients as assessed by its effect on both subjective complaints and objective evaluation of ankle pressure index (API). Sarpogrelate induced a significant decrease in plasma serotonin (5-HT) concentration starting after the 4th week which lasted through to the 8th week of the study, whereas plasma tryptophan concentration increased significantly after 2 and 4 weeks. There were no changes in plasma 5-HIAA concentration. On the other hand whole blood 5-HT concentration increased significantly after 2 weeks, and there was also a tendency to increase in whole blood tryptophan concentration (p = 0.052). Platelet aggregation induced by ADP and collagen did not show any statistically significant changes. Surprisingly, platelet aggregation induced by serotonin increased significantly after 2 weeks and even more so after 4 weeks of treatment, and then it returned to baseline values after 8 weeks. There was no effect on platelet count, APTT, TT and fibrinogen concentration.
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