Ristocetin and vancomycin are structurally similar glycopeptide antibiotics. Both vancomycin and ristocetin in high concentrations (3.0 mg/ml) cause the precipitation of fibrinogen, plasminogen, and IgG from platelet-poor plasma (PPP). In contrast to ristocetin, vanomycin (0.5–1.5 mg/ml) does not agglutinate platelets in normal platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or formalin-treated platelets in the presence of normal PPP. Preincubation of vancomycin (0.5–1.25 mg/ml) with normal PRP, von Willebrand platelets in normal PPP, or formalinized platelets results in inhibition of platelet agglutination induced by ristocetin (0.7–1.25 mg/ml) or ristocetin and normal PPP. This inhibition can be overcome by increasing the final concentration of ristocetin in the platelet suspension. Preincubation of formalin-treated platelets with the major fraction obtained by carboxymethyl-Sephadex C-50 chromatography of commercial vancomycin also results in inhibition of agglutination induced by ristocetin and normal PPP. Incubation with vancomycin (1.25 mg/ml) does not interfere with von Willebrand factor (vWF) or factor VIII coagulant activities in normal PPP or in Sepharose 4B void volume fractions of PPP. These results indicate that vancomycin interacts with normal, von Willebrand, and formalin-treated platelets and inhibits the binding of ristocetin (or ristocetin-vWF complexes).

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