Abstract The Baumgartner perfusion technique was used to test the ability of rehydrated lyophilized human platelets to adhere to the thrombogenic surface of a denuded arterial vessel segment and to undergo platelet activation under conditions of high shear. Twenty preparations of washed platelets were stabilized by 1-hour or 2-hour exposure to paraformaldehyde before freeze-drying in a Virtis 600 lyophilizer. The response of these fixed-dried preparations was compared with that of non-fixed platelets in fresh citrated whole blood. The outcome of each perfusion experiment was quantified in photomicrographs by morphometric estimation of the percent area of the vessel segment covered by adherent platelets after immunofluorescent staining with monoclonal antibodies to glycoprotein lb (CD42) or glycoprotein IIbIIIa (CD41a). Evidence of activation in nonadherent platelets was examined by flow cytometry for CD62 and GP53 expression. In addition, thromboxane B2 was measured by radioimmunoassay as an index of platelet responsiveness to activation conditions during perfusion. The percent vessel coverage observed with lyophilized platelets in recombined whole blood was somewhat less than that of platelets in fresh whole blood (39% vs 73%, respectively). In other perfusion experiments performed with non-denuded vessel segments, the percent coverage was reduced by half or more for both types of platelet preparation. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the lyophilized platelets did not adhere to areas of intact endothelium. Furthermore, the lyophilized platelets showed a small-but-significant rise in CD62 or CD63 activation antigen expression and generated thromboxane B2 at about one third the rate of fresh platelets in these perfusion experiments. The thromboxane generation during perfusion was inhibited in fresh or lyophilized platelet preparations by pretreatment with indomethacin or PGE-1. We interpret these data as evidence of the ability of our lyophillized platelet preparations to respond at least partially to physiologic stimuli and to adhere to appropriate thrombogenic sites to support hemostasis.