Treatment of Aspirin-Resistant Patients With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Versus Aspirin Dose Escalation

Eli I. Lev, Alejandro Solodky, Naama Harel, Aviv Mager, David Brosh, Abid Assali, Milton Roller, Alexander Battler, Neal S. Kleiman, Ran Kornowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether addition of omega-3 fatty acids or increase in aspirin dose improves response to low-dose aspirin among patients who are aspirin resistant. Background: Low response to aspirin has been associated with adverse cardiovascular events. However, there is no established therapeutic approach to overcome aspirin resistance. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the availability of platelet arachidonic acid (AA) and indirectly thromboxane A2 formation. Methods: Patients (n = 485) with stable coronary artery disease taking low-dose aspirin (75 to 162 mg) for at least 1 week were screened for aspirin response with the VerifyNow Aspirin assay (Accumetrics, San Diego, California). Further testing was performed by platelet aggregation. Aspirin resistance was defined by ≥2 of 3 criteria: VerifyNow score ≥550, 0.5-mg/ml AA-induced aggregation ≥20%, and 10-μmol/l adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-induced aggregation ≥70%. Thirty patients (6.2%) were found to be aspirin resistant and randomized to receive either low-dose aspirin + omega-3 fatty acids (4 capsules daily) or aspirin 325 mg daily. After 30 days of treatment patients were re-tested. Results: Both groups (n = 15 each) had similar clinical characteristics. After treatment significant reductions in AA- and ADP-induced aggregation and the VerifyNow score were observed in both groups. Plasma levels of thromboxane B2 were also reduced in both groups (56.8% reduction in the omega-3 fatty acids group, and 39.6% decrease in the aspirin group). Twelve patients (80%) who received omega-3 fatty acids and 11 patients (73%) who received aspirin 325 mg were no longer aspirin resistant after treatment. Conclusions: Treatment of aspirin-resistant patients by adding omega-3 fatty acids or increasing the aspirin dose seems to improve response to aspirin and effectively reduces platelet reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-121
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 12 2010


  • aspirin
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • platelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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