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Overview of Platelet Activation
Platelet activation encompasses a complex and very rapid series of processes that are critical for hemostasis and inflammation. Resting platelets express many cell surface receptors which respond to ligands generated or exposed during inflammation and damage to the vascular endothelium. Activated platelets promote clot formation (thrombosis), broaden inflammatory responses, and contribute to wound healing. Impaired platelet activation can lead to uncontrolled bleeding. Pathological activation of platelets is characteristic of several diseases (e.g. atherosclerosis, stroke, hypertension, and deep vein thrombosis) and is a common target of anti-thrombotic treatment for these patients.